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Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 : Anti-Conversion Law

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.