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New law to check forcible conversions suggested by UP law panel

“The report was submitted along with a draft legislation, Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019,” the commission’s secretary Sapna Tripathi told news agency PTI.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: November 21, 2019 8:07:00 pm
UP law commission, UP Law commission report on conversions, UP conversion cases, conversion cases UP, conversion cases India, India news, Indian Express The report was submitted to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. (Express File Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh State Law Commission Thursday submitted a report to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath proposing a new law to check on forcible conversions in the state.

“The report was submitted along with draft legislation, Uttar Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2019,” the commission’s secretary Sapna Tripathi told news agency PTI.

The report, which was prepared after going through pre and post-independence laws in the country, said that the matter is of serious concern.

“The commission is of the view that existing legal provisions are not enough to check religious conversion and on this serious matter, a new law is needed like in 10 other states,” the report read.

It added that the 10 states — namely Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand — had enforced special laws that ban conversions by force, fraud, marriage, or allurement.

The report also added that it was drawn up after looking at neighbouring countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, besides keeping in mind court judgments.

The 268-page report included newspaper clippings of recent cases regarding forcible conversions, international covenants on the right to religion, and anti-conversion laws in India and its neighbouring countries.

The report also states the constitutional framework of the right to freedom in India, anti-conversion laws in various states of the country, along with a comparative study, recommendations of the law commission of India and extracts from important Supreme Court and High Court judgments, besides proceedings of the UP Legislative Assembly.

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