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Karnataka Cabinet Approves Anti-Conversion Bill As Ordinance: HM Araga Jnanendra

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Mumbai: Karnataka cabinet has approved the anti-conversion bill and it will be discussed in the next Assembly session, the state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said.

“Cabinet has approved the anti-conversion bill, it will be tabled in the next session, till then ordinance will be in place,” Araga Jnanendra was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Before the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had said that his government was going to implement this step through an ordinance.

It is reported that the state home department has prepared a draft note which will be circulated during the cabinet meeting today. The note will make a case for moving the Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill through an ordinance.

The Law Department is believed to have said in its opinion that there is no legal impediment to bringing the Bill to life through an ordinance.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Congress President DK Shivakumar earlier in the day slammed the ruling Bommai government and said the opposition would oppose the bill.

The bill proposes imprisonment of 3 to 5 years with a fine of Rs 25,000 for ‘forced’ conversion. Converting a minor, woman or an SC/ST person will attract a jail term of 3 to 10 years, with a Rs 50,000 fine. Mass conversions will attract 3-10 years of jail time, with a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh.

Earlier in December last year, the Karnataka Assembly passed the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 by voice vote.

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