Anti-conversion bill tabled in Karnataka Assembly

Protests by opposition Congress

The contentious anti-conversion bill – The Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 — was tabled in Karnataka’s Legislative Assembly on December 21 amidst protests by the opposition Congress.

Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah argued that the Bill was being tabled ‘in stealth’ without giving adequate time for discussion, and it violates Article 25 of the Constitution.

Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs J.C. Madhuswamy and Revenue Minister R. Ashok insisted that the bill was being tabled as per procedure, and that it was brought in as an additional agenda.

The draft of the bill was cleared by the Cabinet on December 20.

The bill envisages stringent provisions for forced or induced conversion. It prohibits conversion from one religion to another by ‘misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion, allurement or marriage’. It says that any aggrieved person, parents, brother, sister or any other person related by blood, marriage or adoption can file a First Information Report against such an act.

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