The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday introduced an anti-conversion bill with more stringent provisions in the state assembly, in which there has been a provision of punishment ranging from three years to 10 years for those guilty of forced conversions. Presenting the Uttarakhand Religion Freedom (Amendment) Bill-2022 in the House on the first day of the three-day winter session, State Religion and Culture Minister Satpal Maharaj said that according to Articles 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the Constitution of India, This amendment bill has been brought to remove the difficulties being faced in the objective of equally strengthening each religion.
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The bill has made illegal religious conversion a cognizable and non-bailable offence, with a provision of imprisonment for a minimum of three years to a maximum of 10 years for its culprit. Apart from this, a fine of at least fifty thousand rupees has been imposed for its culprit. Provision has also been made.
According to the revised draft, the perpetrator of the crime may also have to pay a compensation amount of at least five lakh rupees, which will be given to the victim. According to the Bill, ‘no person shall convert or attempt to convert any other person from one religion to another either directly or indirectly by force, inducement or fraudulent means. No person shall abet or conspire for such conversion.’ Besides this, the government also introduced the Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) Bill, 2022 in the state assembly to allow women in state services for the purpose of gender equality. The provision of 30 percent ‘horizontal reservation’ is proposed.
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