Gujarat Anti-Conversion Law:
Gujarat Government has defended its new anti-conversion law in High Court saying marriages cannot be tool for “forceful conversion”.
- The HC is hearing two petitions that have challenged the newly enacted amendment in the law, which deals with forcible religious conversion through marriages.
- During the hearing, the Court observed that the amended law keeps a sword hanging over interfaith couples because it has created an impression that interfaith marriages are not permissible in the State.
Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021:
- It proposes punishment of 3-10 years in jail for forcible or fraudulent religious conversions through marriage.
- It amends the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003.
- The amendment aims to reduce the “emerging trend” where women are “lured to marriage” for the purposes of religious conversion.
- The amended law has vague terms which are against basic principles of marriage and right to propagate, profess and practice religion as enshrined in the Article 25 of the Constitution.
- The law even allows distant family members to file a criminal complaint.