Ordinance is called the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. In Hindi, it is called as Uttar Pradesh Vidhi Virudh Dharma Samparivartan Pratishedh Adhyadhesh, 2020.
How this Ordinance came into the Force?
Under Article 213(1) of the Indian Constitution, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel promulgated an ordinance on unlawful conversion days after it was passed by the Yogi Adityanath-led State cabinet, officials said on Saturday.
Followings are the eleven key definitions in the Uttar Pradesh’s new anti-conversion Law of 2020 (Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020.)
It means and includes offer of any temptation in the form of:
- any gift, gratification, easy money or material benefit either in cash or kind;
- employment, free education in reputed school run by any religious body; or
- better lifestyle, divine displeasure or otherwise.
Compelling an individual to act against his/her will by the use of psychological pressure or physical force causing bodily injury or threat thereof;
Renouncing one’s own religion and adopting another religion
Show or force or a threat of injury of any kind to the person converted or sought to be converted or to any other person or property.
It means and includes impersonation (any kind/by false name, surname, religious symbol) or otherwise;
When two or more persons are converted.
Person under the age of eighteen years of age.
Any organized system of worship pattern, faith belief, worship or lifestyle, as prevailing in India or any part of it, and defined under any law or custom for the time being in force
Person of any religion who performs any act of conversion from one religion to another religion and by whatever name he is called such as Father, Karmkandi, Maulvi or Mulla, etc.
Unconscientious use by one person of his/her power or influence over another in order to persuade the other to act in accordance with the will of the person exercising such influence.
Any conversion not in accordance with law of the land.
What this Law Prohibits?
Law prohibits religious conversion by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means. Even through marriages, there shall be no conversion.
What is says about Inter-faith Marriage?
Under Section 6 of the Ordinance that, if the marriage was done with the sole purpose of unlawful conversion by a man of one religion with the women of another religion; where either he himself converted before or after the marriage or the woman converted herself before or after the marriage; the Family Court will declare such marriage to be void.
Rules for valid Conversion
- Under Section 8(1) Person who wants to convert has to give a declaration; 60 days in advance to the District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate.
- Under Section 8(2) Religious convertor has to give one month’s advance notice to the District Magistrate or any officer not below the rank of Additional District Magistrate; who will be appointed by the District Magistrate for the purpose of such ceremony.
- Under Section 8(3) When District Magistrate receives information either by the person who want to convert or by a Religious Convertor as per the above two clauses; shall conduct a Police enquiry to clear the intention.
- Under Section 9(1) and (3) Once a person gets converted, he has to send a declaration to the District Magistrate within sixty days of his/her conversion stating his present address, date of conversion, spouse or parent’s name, the current and past religion, etc.
- Under Section 9(4), once the declaration is given to the District Magistrate under Section 9(1) and (3); he/she has to appear before the District Magistrate within 21 days for identification purpose.
- If any of the clauses i.e. Section 9(1) to (4) is breached, then such conversion will become void and illegal.
If the above clause 1 (Section 8(1)) is violated, where a person who wishes to convert himself/herself fails to declare his intentions sixty days prior in advance; then he would be for the term not less than six months and may be extended to three years. Fine shall not be less than Rs. 10,000/-.
If the above clause 2 (Section 8(2)) is violated, where the religious converter fails to give a one month notice; then, such person’s imprisonment term shall not be less than One Year and which may be extended to Five Years. The fine here would not be less than Rs. 20,000/-.
Offences under this Ordinance will be Cognizable and non-bailable and triable by Court of Session.
If it is an institution or organization then, the person or persons in charge will be punished with imprisonment not less than one year, extendable to five years. Here fine shall not be less than Rs. 15,000/-.
If the person unlawfully converted is a minor, a woman, a Scheduled Caste or Schedule Tribe person, then the punishment with imprisonment shall not be less than two years, extendable to ten years. Here fine shall not be less than Rs. 25,000/-.
If there has been a mass conversion then the punishment with imprisonment shall not be less than Three years, extendable to Ten Years. Here the fine shall not be less than Rs. 50,000/-.
If a person has been convicted has also been convicted in past under the same law then he/she shall be liable for the twice of the punishment.
Burden of Proof
The person who is charged under this Law will be having the burden to prove that, he/she didn’t contravene the provision of Law.
Who can lodge FIR?
Any aggrieved person, his/her parents, brother, sister, or any other person who is related to him/her by blood, marriage or adoption may lodge a FIR for such conversion under this Law.