Uttar Pradesh government has passed an ordinance to ban unlawful religious conversions for marriage. Unlawful conversion for the sake of getting married through force, deceit, undue pressure or by way of alluring into marriage will come into category of non-bailable offence and can lead to imprisonment of a maximum of 10 years and penalty of 50 thousand rupees.
AIR correspondent reports, the Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, recommends 1-5 years imprisonment if an accused fails to prove that the conversion of the woman was not for marriage or by use of force, deceit and allurement. The jail sentence for the offence would be 3-10 years if the woman is from the Scheduled cast, Scheduled Tribe community or is seen as part of mass conversion.
Any marriage entered into after such a conversion can be declared null and void. Talking to the media after the cabinet meeting, government spokesperson and Minister Sidharth Nath Singh said that if any couple wants to perform marriage after converting into any other religion, they need to take permission from the relevant district magistrate two months before the marriage. He claimed that over 100 incidents of forceful religious conversions were noticed in state.