‘Love Jihad’ law in effect from today in Uttar Pradesh post receiving clearance from Governor
Love Jihad law in effect: Uttar Pradesh is going to have a new law against forcible or dishonest religious conversions under marriage prospects. On Saturday, UP Governor Anandiben Patel gave her nod to the Ordinance prepared by the state government.
The law, The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Ordinance, 2020, has been deemed under effect starting today. Under this law the conversion of religion from one to another by “misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion, allurement or marriage” is prohibited. The Ordinance had been cleared early this week by the UP Cabinet.
The law will declare a marriage “shunya” (null and void) if marriage’s “sole intention was to change a girl’s religion”.
The government said in a released statement, “Those getting the conversion done in violation of the provisions of the proposed law would have to face a jail term of up to 10 years.” Furthermore, if its is found that conversion has been done under force, through cheating or atrocity, the offence will be deemed non-bailable.
Other BJP ruled states, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana are also working to bring a love, being famously called “love jihad law”. This move has been opposed by at least 5 states, all ruled by opposition, deeming the regulation as an encroachment on freedom to marriage, liberty and also said that this move can divide the country communally.
The states actively came up with this decision eyeing the increasingly common attacks on girls related to inter-faith marriages.
With this Uttar Pradesh becomes the first state to bring this Ordinance into law. Decision to introduce this Ordinance was announced by UP Cabinet Minister Siddharth Nath Singh on Tuesday. Under this law, the accused will be sentenced for a jail term of 10 years with penalty of INR 25,000 in case of conversion of minors and women belonging to SC/ST community. Furthermore, if accused of mass conversion, offenders will be sentenced with 3-10 years of jail term and imposed with a fine of at least INR 50,000.
Uttar Pradesh opposition party Samajwadi Party (SP) has opposed the government’s decision of bringing Ordinance into law, saying that its an “anti-people law”.