Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government has passed a controversial ordinance on 'love jihad' to combat illegal religious conversions on Tuesday. According to this ordinance, if anyone is found to be married for the purpose of converting a girl's religion, the marriage will be declared null and void, and the person is likely to face a jail term of up to 10 years.
The ordinance on 'love jihad', Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill 2020, cleared by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet provides for a jail term of 1-5 years with Rs 15,000 penalty on forceful religious conversion, including through marriage.
In case, the woman involved is either a minor or belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, the jail term would range between 3-10 years and penalty will shoot up to Rs 25,000. In case of mass conversions, however, the jail term is of 3-10 years whereas a fine of Rs 50,000 shall be slapped on organisations which indulge in such activities.
"UP CM Yogi Adityanth and the cabinet ministers have passed the law against love jihad. No woman should be converted under the idea of manipulation and love. If someone wants to convert after marriage, that person should follow the rule and do it in proper process in front of the Zila district magistrate," UP government spokesperson and minister Siddharth Nath Singh said. The minister claimed that this will solve law and order problem in the state.
Here's all you need to know about UP's love jihad ordinance
- If anyone is found to be married for the sheer purpose of converting a girl's religion, the marriage will be declared null and void and the person will have to face an imprisonment of up to 10 years
- Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Bill 2020, cleared by the Uttar Pradesh cabinet provides for a jail term of 1-5 years with Rs 15,000 penalty on forceful religious conversion, including through marriage
- The bill provides for a punishment of 3-10 years and penalty of Rs 50,000 for outfits indulging in mass conversions. If it is found that the conversion is done forcibly either through atrocity or cheating, the offence will be non-bailable
- If someone wants to convert their religion after marriage, they will have to submit an application to the District Magistrate (DM) two months in advance.
- The 'love jihad' ordinance cleared by the government of the most populous state is in accordance with an Allahabad High Court declaration that conversion for the sole purpose of marriage is invalid.
- Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission had submitted a draft proposal for the law in November 2019. The state law commission proposed that conversion done for the sole of marriage as null and void.
- Uttar Pradesh is not the only state to pass a law to bring love jihad in check as Haryana and Madhya Pradesh have also announced that they would bring in a law to curb conversions for the purpose of marriage.