Thursday 24th Jan 2019
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MP GOVT MOVES BILL TO MAKE ANTI-CONVERSION LAW STRINGENT

Inside India

The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has come out with an amendment to the anti-conversion legislation. Titled Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the Bill was tabled in the assembly on 9 July. It seeks to amend the 1968 legislation on the ground that it stipulated lesser punishment, and was, therefore, ineffective to stop conversions. Bill stipulates a jail term of up to three years or a fine up to Rs 50,000, or both, for conversion using force, allurement or any other fraudulent means. When the person being converted is a minor, a woman or an SC/ST, the jail term will extend up to four years and fine up to Rs 1 lakh.

The amendment proposes that even the newly convert will have to inform authorities within a stipulated time. Violations either by the priest or the convert will be punished with a jail term of up to one year or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both, if they fail to notify authorities in their residential district. The amendment has been modelled on a law passed by the Modi government in Gujarat



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