'What's the hurry?': Karnataka Congress chief DK Shivakumar slams Bommai govt over anti-conversion bill

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Thursday, May 12, 2022, 01:28 PM IST


Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai made a massive announcement stating that the state Cabinet is, on Thursday, set to discuss the anti-conversion bill. The “Anti-conversion bill will be passed with an ordinance in today's Cabinet meet”, CM Bommai said. Following this, Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar slammed the ruling government and said that the opposition will oppose the bill.

"I don't know why the Karnataka govt is in such a hurry to pass the anti-conversion bill in its Cabinet meeting today through ordinance. They should take an ordinance on some development agenda or giving employment to the youth", the Karnataka Congress chief said.

The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly in December last year. It is pending passage in the Legislative Council, where the ruling BJP is one short of majority.

The state Home Department has reportedly drafted a note which will be circulated during the meeting. The note makes a case for pushing the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill through an ordinance. As per the state Law Department, there are no legal hurdles in bringing the bill into effect through this route.

The bill proposes imprisonment of 3 to 5 years with a fine of Rs 25,000 for ‘forced’ conversion. Converting a minor, woman or an SC/ST person will attract a jail term of 3 to 10 years, with a Rs 50,000 fine. Mass conversions will attract 3-10 years of jail time, with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Earlier in December last year, the Karnataka Assembly had passed the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 with a voice vote.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Thursday, May 12, 2022, 01:28 PM IST