Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday December 8 said that the Cabinet will promulgate the MP Freedom to Religion Ordinance, 2020, on December 29. This announcement made yesterday comes between the huge debate regarding the cancelling of Madhya Pradesh Assembly’s winter session which was to be held on 29 December.
The Freedom to Religion Ordinance or the Dharma Swatantrya Ordinance, which aims to deal with the so- called love jihaad cases, was approved on December 26.
"We will not allow forced conversion of religion by luring, frightening, cheating or misleading a person in Madhya Pradesh. We have strengthened the 1968 law making it more effective and stricter," he had stated.
“Our government belongs to everyone - all religions and castes. There is no discrimination but if someone tries to do anything disgusting with our daughters, then I will break you. If someone plots religious conversion or does anything like 'love jihad', you will be destroyed,” Chouhan had said.
The state proposes a maximum term of 10 years for the ‘love-jihad’ related offences.
“Under the new proposed ordinance, there will be a provision of punishment of up to 5 years for a religious leader, Qazi or Maulvi who has performed religious conversion before submitting an application. The complaint of conversion and forced marriage can be made by the victim, parents, family or guardian,” news agency ANI had previously reported.
According to Section 3 of the Bill, anyone who is found guilty of abetment to religious conversion shall face a fine of not less than Rs 25,000 and imprisonment of one to five years. In addition to this, anyone who attempts to hide one’s religion will be punishable by imprisonment of three to 10 years and a fine of at least Rs 50,000.
State Home Minister Narottam Mishra had earlier said, "The draft of this bill has a provision of a 10-year jail sentence for luring, intimidating someone into marriage for religious conversion. A provision of five-year jail term is there in the draft bill for the priests or religious gurus, who solemnise such marriages without seeking the district magistrate's nod."