Days after Uttar Pradesh government approved 10-year jail term for ‘Love Jihad’, Governor Anandiben Patel promulgated the Ordinance against ‘illegal’ conversion on Saturday.
Yogi Adityanath government had on November 24 cleared the cleared the Ordinance calling for stringent law to deal with religious conversion for the sake of marriage, commonly referred to as Love Jihad by some sections of the society. An official spokesperson said the approval for the Ordinance was given at a state cabinet meeting chaired by Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.
UP cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh, who had conveyed the cabinet decision, told news agency ANI, “There were more than 100 incidents reported in which forceful religious conversion was being done. Also, it was reported religious conversions were going on in the state using deceitful means. So to make a law on this becomes an important matter of policy now.”
The law mandates jail term of the accused between one to five years, with Rs 15,000 penalty, if convicted for carrying out forceful conversions for marriage. “For conversions of minors and women of SC/ST community, there will be a jail term of 3-10 years with Rs 25,000 penalty,” Singh said.
Incidentally, the Ordinance has been promulgated after the Allahabad High Court in a key verdict had observed that two adults have the right to choose their life partner and the law allows the two adults to stay together irrespective of whether they are of the same or opposite sex.
The court had also clearly spelt out that no one could interfere in their peaceful life and even the state cannot object to the relationship between two adults.