March 21, 2023

karnataka: Karnataka may make accused pay ‘forced conversion victim’ Rs 5L | India News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Karnataka’s proposed anti-conversion bill leaves the door ajar for converts to return to their previous faith without calling into question the possibility of duress or allurement, sources said ahead of the draft being placed before the Assembly.
This notable exclusion is seen as being in tune with the demand raised by various outfits to bring back people who converted to Islam and Christianity from Hinduism through a “ghar wapsi (homecoming)” drive. The proposal to omit reconversion to one’s original faith from the purview of the bill might be discussed at the cabinet meeting scheduled for Monday, sources said.
The draft of the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill states that courts can order those found guilty of forcible conversion to pay a maximum compensation of up to Rs 5 lakh to the “victims”. It also seeks to declare null and void marriages solemnised with the sole purpose of unlawful conversion. The bill also proposes a three-year jail term if anybody forcibly converts minors, people of unstable mind and those belonging to any Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.
In the event of mass conversion, the guilty will be sentenced to three years in jail. The bill defines mass conversion as converting two or more people at a time.
Repeat offenders are liable to get a jail term not less than five years. These penal provisions will also be applicable to institutions indulging in forced conversion. The bill places the burden of providing proof on the accused that religious conversion was not carried out through misrepresentation, allurement or force. The bill seeks to record the new religion of any convert and also allows the government to reclassify the person in terms of entitlement to social welfare benefits.

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