UP Passed Ordinance to ban Unlawful Religious Conversions for Marriage

The Uttar Pradesh government has passed an ordinance to ban the unlawful religious conversions for marriage.

Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020

  • As per the ordinance, the Unlawful conversion for getting married by force, deceit, undue pressure or by way of alluring into marriage will now be a non-bailable offence.
  • Such marriages would lead to imprisonment of a maximum of 10 years and penalty of 50 thousand rupees.
  • The ordinance further recommends 1 year to 5 years of imprisonment if the accused fails to prove that the conversion of the woman was not unlawful.
  • The jail sentence for the offence against the woman from the Scheduled cast, Scheduled Tribe community would be of 3-10 years.
  • It the case is of mass conversion, similar provision of 3-10 year imprisonment has been prescribed. Also, the registration of the organisation involving into mass conversion would be cancelled.
  • The ordinance would declare the unlawful marriages null and void.
  • Further, if any couple wants to marry after converting into any other religion, they need to take permission from the relevant district magistrate two months prior to the marriage.

Why this ordinance has been passed?

The Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 was cleared by the State Cabinet after the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh promised to bring an “effective law” against unlawful marriages. It was done in the light of popularization of a politically motivated legally unrecognized term “Love Jihad”.

What is ‘love jihad’?

Love jihad is an politically motivated Islamophobic assumption that the Hindu women are being targeted by the Muslim youth who seeks to win over girls for religious conversion in the name of marriage. The term is not legally defined.