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Law against Religious Conversion: Himachal Pradesh

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  • Dec 01, 2020

Anil Vij home minister of Haryana said that his government is accepting and implementing a law against forced religious conversions and has sought informationabout such a law which is already present in Himachal Pradesh.In Haryana VidhanSabha, there is a discussion in which Vij said and disclose on the recent murder of woman outside her college in Faridabad’s Ballabhgarh. Talking about the last year, the Himachal Pradesh assembly passed the bill on freedom of religion 2019. In 2007 the state had already enacted a law which restricts change from one religion to another by force or fraud on an individual.While the season of monsoon of the assembly, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur introduced a more stringent version of the legislation. The society has undergone many transition changes from the past few years and so on. It has been seen that there is an increase in conversion by many unfair means and unless checked well in time to time without crossing time limit.

 This habit may erode the confidence and mutual trust between the different ethnic and religious groups in the state. In this act it is stated that no person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use of mispresentation, force, influence coercion inducement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire such conversion. Any marriage done for the sole purpose of religion conversion may be charged as heavy crime and declared null and void by a court on a petition by either party. Conversion is something which is not done forcefully and the communities who support these practices should not be accepted in the community and they are destroying the individual freedom and their rights. There are many things in this act anyone who wish to convert to any other religion will give a declaration to the district authorities and from high authorities at least one month prior or in advance, specifying that one is doing so as per his/her own free consent.

 The district magistrate will then implement an inquiry regarding the whole case keeping all of the victims and the inquiry is regardingthe intentions and purpose and cause of proposed conversions. Authorities should be informed in advance or else it will be considered illegal and further actions must be taken very soon. This act says that the burden of proof as to whether a religious conversion was not effected through force or fraud lies on the person so converted, or the person who has provided the thought of conversion or do a mindset planning to convert any individual. It is very obvious according to our law and order that if someone is committed any serious crime he/ she must be punished accordingly and the punishment can be of many years or lifetime depends on the magnitude of the punishment. The punishment is very much necessary because it can happen again and again if not kept in mind. All offences under the ACT are non-bailable, that means you will be given lifetime punishment and no one can save you whether it’s a politician or any other high authority. The violator can be punished with a prison term ranging from one to five years, along with a lot of fine. In case the victim is a minor, woman or member of a scheduled caste or tribe, the imprisonment may extend upto seven years. The conversions in these days are growing rapidly and increase in crime is at top and we have to stop it this culture will extinct.