Monday, May 27, 2024

Karnataka Cabinet scraps controversial anti-conversion law introduced by BJP

The Congress-led Karnataka government on Thursday decided to repeal the anti-conversion law that was introduced by the previous BJP government.

The proposal was passed by the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah-led cabinet and is likely to be brought on the floor of the house soon.

The Bill was introduced by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra amid vociferous opposition during the Winter Session of the Assembly in September 2022. The Bommai Government “wanted to prohibit conversion by misrepresentation, force, allurement, fraudulent means, or marriage.”

The law, which was formulated by the Karnataka Legislative in December 2021, aims to provide protection of right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by unusual manners.

In September last year, the Basavaraj Bommai-led BJP government passed the contentious anti-conversion bill amid objections from the Congress and JD(S). As the bill was pending for passage in the Legislative Council, where the then ruling BJP was short of majority, the government had subsequently promulgated an ordinance in May to give effect to the bill.

It proposed imprisonment from three to five years with a fine of ₹25,000, while for violation of provisions with respect to minors, women, SC/ST, offenders will face imprisonment from three to ten years and a fine of not less than ₹50,000.

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