Karnataka’s Anti-Conversion Bill:
Karnataka state government has decided to take the Ordinance route to get clearance for the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021.
- The Bill, which was adopted by the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in its special session in December 2021, is yet to be introduced in the Legislative Council.
Highlights of the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021:
- Any person found guilty of unlawfully converting another person will face a minimum jail term of three to five years and a fine of Rs 25,000.
- If the person ‘unlawfully converted’ is either a minor or a woman or belongs to the Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, the punishment is more — a minimum sentence of three years and a maximum of ten years imprisonment, and Rs 50,000 fine.
- In cases of ‘mass conversion’, the accused person can face three to ten years in prison and a fine of Rs 1 lakh.
- An appropriate court will order the accused person to pay compensation to the “victim of conversion and this amount can go up to Rs 5 lakh, and must be paid by the accused over and above the fine under the law.
- In case someone wants to convert to another religion voluntarily, there is a lengthy process in place and this applies to inter-faith marriages too.