Jharkhand cabinet approves Religious Freedom Bill 2017, to be introduced in State Assembly this month
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 02-Aug-2017
Ranchi, August 2: Jharkhand cabinet approved Religious Freedom Bill 2017. The bill named as Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Bill, 2017 seeks to bring the stringent anti-conversion law in place under which forceful or allurement induced religious conversion will be non-bailable criminal offense.
According to its provisions, a minimum jail term of three years and/or a fine of Rs 50,000, or both, will be imposed on persons found guilty of converting people. In the case of a minor girl belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe being converted, the punishment will extend to four years in prison and/or Rs 1 lakh as fine, or both. The bill will be introduced during the monsoon session of the state Assembly, set to start later this month.
In the case of those converting willingly, the district administration will have to be informed regarding the details of the conversion, and the time, place, reason etc, or face action. Welcoming the move immediately, state general secretary Deepak Prakash said: “Either through coercion or allurement, the gullible tribal people have been converted on a large scale. As a result, their society has got detached from its own roots and traditions. It is a good step to stop such forces, who are involved in it.”
Allurement for religious conversion has been well defined in the bill, where cash or economic benefits for religious conversion are included. Jharkhand will be the 7th state to implement Freedom of Religious Act along with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Odisha, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.