UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in an exclusive conversation with India TV spoke on the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. The ordinance was passed in November — Unlawful Conversion Bill — has provisions that can land offenders in jail for upto five years. It was brought after the UP Cabinet had decided to introduce an ordinance against unlawful religious conversions.
Speaking on the new law, Yogi Adityanath said it has been brought to provide security to women across the state, adding nobody can misuse the law. The chief minister said if someone marries a woman with his name being for example, Amit but later it is revealed that his real name is Aslam, and if the matter is reported to the law enforcement authorities, then the government can take action as it has the duty to provide security to all.
Yogi Adityanath also said that his government is open for discussion regarding it and added that nowhere in the law it is mentioned that it only implies to Hindus or Muslims. If a Hindu man marries a Muslim woman, then also the law will be the same, he stressed.
After bringing this ordinance, several cases of fraud were rerported, Adityanath said.
The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 was promulgated in November to prohibit religious conversions in the name of 'love jihad'. As per the ordinance to ban unlawful religious conversions, the onus was put on the defendant to prove that the conversion was not for marriage.
It provides for 1-5 year imprisonment if an accused fails to prove that the conversion of the woman was not for marriage or by use of force, allurement etc.
Apart from the jail term, the ordinance also has provision of Rs 15,000 penalty for forceful religious conversion. For conversions of minors and women of SC/ST community, there will be a penalty of Rs 25,000 penalty and jail term.