The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet on Tuesday approved the Dharma Swatantrata (Religious Freedom) Ordinance, 2020 to check the rising cases of "love jihad" in the state. It has been sent to Governor for final assent.
The ordinance was approved during a special Cabinet session which was presided over by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Bhopal.
The Bharatiya Janata Party government in the landlocked state took the ordinance route much like the Uttar Pradesh to enact the law to check forced religious conversion.
This comes after the three-day Assembly session was annulled due to rising coronavirus cases. The Assembly session was annulled by a joint committee of all leaders on Sunday night.
The Cabinet had last week approved the Madhya Pradesh Religious Freedom Bill, 2020. The Bill was approved on Saturday and would have been tabled in the upcoming Assembly session but the session has now been cancelled.
Under this law, there is a provision of awarding a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a penalty of Rs 1 lakh for forceful conversion of any person under the pretext of marriage. Strict provisions have been made in this law to prevent forceful religious conversions. According to this law, it is considered unlawful for any person to lure, threaten and indulge in forceful religious conversions.