Love Jihad Ordinance: You can marry in UP by converting religion provided that it is by going through legal means

Shikha Chaurasia

Lucknow, November 26, 2020: The Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday approved the draft of the ‘Uttar Pradesh Laws against Religion Conversion Prohibition Ordinance-2020’. This ordinance does not prohibit conversion for marriage. According to this ordinance, for such marriages in which conversion is to take place, permission has to be obtained from the prescribed authority i.e. DM. For this, the information regarding the plea of conversion will have to be given to the District Magistrate two months in advance. A provision of punishment ranging from six months to three years has been made for violating it. Also, the fine will not be less than 10 thousand rupees.

Marriage done for religious conversion will be void
Provision has been made that marriage done only for the sole purpose of conversion will be considered void. According to the provision, marriages done for the sole purpose of converting a girl’s religion from one religion to another will be brought to zero category.

Not only love jihad but also a penalty of 50 thousand on mass conversion
State Government spokesperson and Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that there has been a provision of severe punishment in connection with mass conversions. In such a situation, there will be a minimum sentence of three years, this punishment can be up to a maximum of 10 years. At the same time, the amount of fine will also be increased to 50 thousand rupees in such cases.

The crime will be a non-bailable offence
The provision has been made that conversion done by forcible, false, seduction and harassment methods will be a non-bailable offence. The offence will be cognizable and will be heard in the First Class Magistrate’s Court.

The onus of proving that the accused did not commit the crime will be their own responsibility
It will be the responsibility of the accused to prove that the conversion was not done through harassment and the conversion is not illegal or forced. It was not done by temptation. At the same time, action will be taken against social organizations by cancelling their registration.

What does the ordinance say?
It says-

1.    Under this, the conversion from one religion to another will be illegal under the pretext of committing coercion, deceit, fraud, or by any fraudulent means or by marriage. The maximum punishment for doing so will be 10 years. There will also be a fine of Rs 25 thousand.

2.    The cabinet has approved the draft of the ‘Uttar Pradesh Laws against Religion Transformation Prohibition Ordinance-2020’. Under this, a provision of at least one year and a maximum sentence of five years and a provision of Rs 15,000 for violating the ordinance rules has been decided.

3.    In addition, violation of rules in relation to a minor woman, a woman belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) shall be punishable with a minimum sentence of 3 years and a maximum of 10 years. Also, the fine will be 25 thousand rupees.

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