Title : THE ANTI CONVERSION BILL
Date : Dec 18, 2021
Topic à Government Policies & Interventions
- The Freedom to Religion Bill, 2020 has been approved as an Ordinance by the MP Cabinet.
- Similar legislation have previously been approved in Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
- What do they have in common:
- The declaration of such marriages as "null and void" and the criminalization of conversions performed without the state's prior sanction are similar features of all three statutes.
- They differ in terms of the severity of the punishment and who bears the responsibility of proving that a conversion is legal.
- Previous notice: For a conversion to be valid, the MP Law needs a 60-day prior "statement of the intention to convert" to the District Magistrate, after which a couple of different religions can be legally married.
- The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Ordinance, 2020, demands a 60-day notice as well as a police investigation to determine the true intention behind the conversion.
- The Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019, which took effect last week, mandates a 30-day "declaration of intention to convert" prior to conversion.
- The MP Law:
- According to Section 4 of the MP Law, a police officer cannot conduct an investigation unless the person converted or the person's parents/siblings file a formal complaint. Under the legislation, no police official below the rank of sub-inspector can investigate a crime.
- According to Himachal law:
- No prosecution can begin without the approval of a sub-divisional magistrate or a higher-ranking officer.
- The UP law:
- Allows the same people to submit a complaint as the MP statute.
- The burden of proof is on the plaintiff.
- The burden of proof for showing that the conversion was done without compulsion or illegality is placed on the person who was converted under the MP Law.
- A comparable clause exists in Himachal legislation.
- The UP law goes much farther, shifting the burden of proof from the individual to those who "caused" or "facilitated" the conversion.
- Source à The Hindu à 16/12/21 à Page Number 4
Tags : UP, Himanchal Pradesh