The Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved an ordinance that will look to make inter-faith marriages null and void if, upon investigation, they have been found to involve forced conversion. The 'Vidhi Virudh Dharmantaran 2020' Bill has, reportedly, been put together by the State's Home Ministry before being issued to its Law Department.
The ordinance provides for a jail term of 1-5 years with Rs 15,000 penalty for forceful religious conversion. For conversions of minors and women of SC/SC community, there will be jail term of 3-10 years with Rs 25,000 penalty.
"In cases of forced mass conversions, the ordinance provides for a jail term of three-10 years with Rs 50,000 penalty. If a person wants to perform marriage after converting into any other religion, they will need to take permission from DM two months before marriage," state Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh said.
"The victims of forced religious conversions will get a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs," said Siddharth Nath Singh
Over the last few weeks, five State Governments – Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Assam – have declared their intention to bring a new law into effect that would curb alleged instances of 'love jihad' – a term used to describe the forced conversion of non-Muslim women to Islam by Muslim men.