Bengaluru, May 12: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said his Cabinet will today decide on promulgating an ordinance to give effect to a controversial law against religious conversions.
The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly in December last year. It is pending passage in the Legislative Council, where the ruling BJP is one short of majority.
“Because the Assembly and Council got prorogued, we are placing a proposal to promulgate an ordinance in the Cabinet today,” Bommai told reporters.
The controversial bill aims to prohibit religious conversion by way of marriage or inducements such as free marriage, employment among others.
The bill proposes imprisonment of 3 to 5 years with a fine of Rs 25,000 for “forced” conversion. Converting a minor, woman or an SC/ST person will attract a jail term of 3 to 10 years, with a Rs 50,000 fine. Mass conversions will attract 3-10 years of jail time, with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.
Under the proposed law, any person wanting to convert into another religion must intimate the authorities one month in advance.
Karnataka will become the ninth state to enact the anti-conversion law.