Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
File photo

The Madhya Pradesh government will promulgate the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Ordinance on Tuesday to deal with "love jihad" cases, said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

On December 26, Chouhan had said that the state cabinet has approved the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020, which bars forced conversions.

"We will not allow forced conversion of religion by luring, frightening, cheating or misleading a person in Madhya Pradesh. We have strengthened the 1968 law making it more effective and stricter," he had stated.

The Madhya Pradesh government has proposed a maximum punishment of 10 years for so-called 'love jihad'-related offences, in its new ordinance. With this, the state government has doubled the jail term in its proposed Freedom of Religion Bill 2020. It had earlier proposed a five-year jail term.

Under this new proposed ordinance, there will be a provision of punishment of up to 5 years for a religious leader, Qazi or Maulvi who has performed religious conversion before submitting an application. The complaint of conversion and forced marriage can be made by the victim, parents, family or guardian.

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Free Press Journal