Protection Of Right To Freedom Of Religion Bill, 2021

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24 December 2021 Current Affairs:The “Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021” was passed by the Assembly on December 23, 2021. The bill is commonly referred to as the anti-conversion bill.

Highlights:

  • The bill has been labeled “anti-people,” “inhumane,” “unconstitutional,” “anti-poor,” and “draconian” by those who oppose it. A voice vote was used to pass the bill.
  • According to J C Madhuswamy, Minister of Law and Parliamentary Affairs, the bill was initiated in 2016 by the Karnataka Law Commission on the advice of the Congress government. 
  • The Law Commission prepared a draught bill under the direction of the Social Welfare Department.
  • A person who wishes to convert to another faith must submit a declaration in a prescribed format to the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate, who will be specially authorized by the District Magistrate, at least 30 days in advance.

Protection Of Right To Freedom Of Religion Bill, 2021:

  • This bill protects people’s right to freedom of religion and makes it illegal to convert from one religion to another through force, deception, coercion, undue influence, allurement, or any other fraudulent means.
  • It carries a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of Rs 25,000.
  • Offenders who violate the provisions relating to minors, SC/STs and women will be sentenced to three to ten years in prison and fined not less than Rs 50,000.
  • According to the bill, those who were forced to convert will be entitled to compensation of up to Rs five lakh.
  • There is a provision for 3-10 years in prison and a fine of up to Rs one lakh in cases of mass conversion.
  • It also instructs the family court to declare such marriages null and void if they occurred solely for the purpose of unlawful conversion of a man of one religion to a woman of another religion, either before or after marriage or by the man converting himself before or after marriage.

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