MP Cabinet Approves The Religious Freedom Bill 2020 After UP

MP Cabinet Approves The Religious Freedom Bill 2020 After UP


n a meeting held by the Madhya Pradesh state cabinet which is chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan the Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020 was tabled ahead of the legislative assembly session which was dated to be held later this month, A voice vote was passed today by the Madhya Pradesh cabinet on the bill which is aimed at restraining forced religious conversion. If the bill turns into a law it will have a maximum punishment in the jail for up to 10 years and a fine of up to 1 lakh rupees.

The CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan  today said as he was hinting a possible political angle in such conversions that such incidents have surfaced if someone is looking to capture a panchayat by “getting married to a beti (daughter) and filing her in polls.” The CM added further that “Only recently did we bring back under aged girls from various places. We won’t allow this to happen to innocent girls from Madhya Pradesh.”

Under the new bill converting someone forcefully will land them in 1-5 years in jail and a fine amount of minimum 25000 rupees. If a converted person belongs to the community of Schedule Caste or Schedule Tribe or is under aged then this crime will land the accused in jail for 2-10 years and a penalty fine of rupees 1 lakh rupees. The ones who are voluntarily converting themselves will have to notify before two months and if someone fails in doing so the marriage under the new law will be considered null and void.

The Madhya Pradesh government move came after Yogi Adityanath’s led Uttar Pradesh passed a similar law and after this several alleged cases of abuse had surfaced around the state of UP. The leading lights in the legal arena which includes the retired judges such as Justice Madan B Lokur and AP Shah have said that the ordinance passed by the UP government is unsustainable and immediately it should be nullified