‘Love Jihad’ Bill in Madhya Pradesh assembly soon, charges to be non-bailable with five year imprisonment
Love Jihad Bill in Madhya Pradesh: The Home Minister of MP, Narottam Mishra said on Tuesday that the bill includes a rigorous imprisonment of 5 years for violators, with charges being non-bailable and cognizable. Furthermore, the bill also proposes a provision of briefing and intimating the district collector at least a month prior before solemnizing the inter-faith matrimony.
Mr. Mishra said, “There will be provision to declare marriages taking place forcefully, out of fraud or by tempting someone, for religious conversion, null and void. Those assisting in committing this crime will also be considered a party to the crime.”
“Love Jihad” term has gained a lot of attention past few months as cases have surfaced of forceful marriages and attempt of converting religion post marriage. The term was coined by right-wing people who oppose inter-religion marriage in India. However, Constitution of India grants every person right to marry person of choice under Article 21.
Recently the issue of inter-religion marriages and ‘love jihad’ revived when a 21 year old girl was shot dead in front of her college in Ballabgarh, Haryana. The family has alleged that the accused was forcing the girl to marry him and convert.
MP Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan had indicated in the past of bringing in a legislature against ‘love jihad’ and to keep the offenders in check. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, led by BJP governments are also planning to bring in the legislature against ‘love jihad’.
However, the Government had relayed to the Parliament earlier this year that ‘love jihad’ is not defined under law. Also, no cases under the term have been reported by the state or central agencies. Article 25 of Constitution grants the freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health. This has been upheld by various courts, including Kerala High Court.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said, “The term ‘love jihad’ is not defined under the extant laws. No such case of ‘love jihad’ has been reported by any of the central agencies.”
But the minister did relay that two cases of inter-faith marriages from Kerala are being investigated by the NIA (National Investigation Agency).
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced to formulate law to end ‘love jihad’. He is joined in by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, planning to formulate legal provisions to ensure no incidents under ‘love jihad’ occur in future.