Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot signs anti-conversion bill ordinance

18 May, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

A proposal for the issue of the Bill as an ordinance to ease the quick implementation of an anti-conversion law was agreed by a cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai last week.

Despite widespread opposition, Karnataka Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot signed the Right to Freedom of Religion Ordinance on Tuesday, clearing the path for an anti-conversion bill. The governor’s assent came a day after Archbishop of Bengaluru Peter Machado visited with him and pleaded with him not to give assent.

The state’s anti-conversion law was enacted by the BJP government, drawing criticism from the opposition and Christian groups. “The Governor has signed the bill, which was passed by the Assembly in December last year and will now become an ordinance.” “It would be presented to the Upper House (council) in the next session,” Home Minister Araga Jnanendra stated.

A proposal for the issue of the Bill as an ordinance to ease the quick implementation of an anti-conversion law was agreed upon by a cabinet meeting led by Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai last week. The bill, which passed the Assembly in December, was presented to the council because the BJP lacked numbers and was afraid of losing.

According to the proposed law, complaints of conversions can be filed by family members, people who are related or even a colleague of the person who is getting converted.

A jail term of 3-5 years and a fine of Rs 25,000 has been proposed for people violating the law and converting people from general categories and a jail term of 3-10 years and a fine of Rs 50,000 for people converting minors, women and persons from the SC and ST communities.