Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021, was passed in the state Assembly on Monday. The Bill had been approved earlier in December last year, by the state Cabinet in a special meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
"We won't allow forced conversions in Madhya Pradesh. Under the new bill, anyone who does it will face jail term up to 10 yrs and minimum Rs 50,000 fine. Many incidents came to light where minor girls were converted, married & made to contest Panchayat polls," Shivraj Singh Chouhan had said.
"Under the new Bill, forcing religious conversion on someone will attract one to five years of imprisonment and a minimum Rs 25,000 fine," said Narottam Mishra, State Minister.
"Under the new MP Freedom of Religion Bill 2020, forced conversion of a minor, woman or person from Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, would draw a minimum jail term of 2-10 years with a minimum penalty of Rs 50,000," he added.
Uttar Pradesh State Legislative Assembly too passed a similar law called the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Bill, 2021 by voice vote on February 24.
Earlier, the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet cleared the UP Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, proposing a maximum punishment of 10 years for 'love jihad'-related offences.
PTI adds: On March 1, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra presented the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 in the House. After a discussion on the bill, it was passed by voice vote in the Assembly on Monday.
Governor Anandiben Patel on January 9 gave assent to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which penalised religious conversions through fraudulent means, including those for the sake of marriage.