UP ordinance on conversions comes into force after Guv nod

Lucknow, Nov 28: Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on Saturday gave her nod to the ordinance on religious conversions promulgated by the Yogi Adityanath government, paving the way for its enforcement across the state with immediate effect.
The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, was sent to the Raj Bhavan for necessary action last Wednesday after the Cabinet approval a day earlier. The ordinance will now have to be passed in both Houses of the state legislature within six months.
According to the ordinance, change of religion of a woman solely for the purpose of marriage will lead to the annulment of such marriage.
As per the ordinance, for religious conversion, parties concerned will have to declare before prescribed authority that such change of religion is totally voluntary.
The person(s) concerned will also have to declare that there was no temptation or pressure of any kind whatsoever on them for the conversion. The parties concerned will have to inform the District Magistrate two months in advance on the prescribed pro forma regarding the plan to change one’s religion. Violation of the provisions are punishable by jail terms ranging from six months to three years. Those involved in the change of religion of a woman solely for the purpose of marriage will be jailed. Prosecution of the accused in the non-bailable offence will be taken up in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class.
The convict can get sentenced to jail terms ranging from one to five years.
Will oppose bill: Akhilesh
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said his party will oppose the state government’s bill on religious conversions when placed in the assembly for passage. The state cabinet earlier this week gave nod to the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 to curb forcible or “dishonest” religious conversions including those for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years. Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel gave assent to the ordinance on Saturday. Now, it will be presented in the state legislature for passage. Commenting on it, Akhilesh Yadav told reporters, “The Samajwadi Party is not in favour of any such law. We will oppose it (when it comes to the assembly).” He also sought to know its relevance when the state has schemes to encourage inter-caste and inter-faith marriages. The government does not want to debate on more important issues due to which it brought the ordinance, he said, alleging that it is creating hatred and chasm in society. The SP president also extended support to the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s farm laws. “The betterment of farmers cannot be ensured through laws. It will happen only when the government comes forward and provides them with the right price of their produce,” he said. Akhilesh alleged, “No other government has committed as many atrocities on farmers as this government is doing. This treatment is being meted out by those who had promised to double their income.” He also asked when the Centre is going to bring a law to double farmers’ income and provide employment to the youth. Questioning investment claims of the UP government, Akhilesh said it should also tell how it has fared in corruption and fake encounters. “Fake cases are being lodged against political leaders,” he alleged.
To a question on corruption charges against his party leader Azam Khan, Akhilesh Yadav said he has been targeted as he had done some good work. (Agencies)

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