Madhya Pradesh cabinet on Saturday approved the Freedom of Religion Bill 2020 in a special meeting chaired by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal. Under this bill, forced religious conversions will attract 1-5 years of imprisonment and a minimum of Rs 25,000 fine. The law also states the forced conversion of a minor, a woman, or a person belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe would draw a minimum jail term of 2-10 years with a minimum penalty of Rs 50,000.
The bill will be presented in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly during a three-day session, commencing December 28. Three sittings of the House will be held between December 28 and 30.
Earlier this week, the Himachal Pradesh government gave its nod to the Freedom of Religion Act, 2006, making it a law in the state. Governor Bandaru Datatrya has given an assent to the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act of 2019 that was passed unanimously in the assembly on August 30, 2019.
Earlier, Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government passed a bill against 'Love Jihad' which has provisions that can land offenders in jail for upto five years. The law against forced religious conversions was approved days after Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath issued a warning.