According to official sources, on Monday, the Karnataka Cabinet passed the contentious anti-conversion bill, and it is expected to be tabled in the Legislative Assembly on December 21.
“The proposed anti-conversion bill has been cleared by the cabinet that convened today under the leadership of Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai; it is expected to be presented in the assembly tomorrow,” official sources familiar with the process informed news agency Press Trust of India.
As the state legislature is in session for the winter, there was no formal briefing on the cabinet meeting’s choices.
The proposed bill, which opposition parties and Christian community groups oppose, includes punitive penalties and may require anyone who wants to change to another faith to file an application with the Deputy Commissioner two months in advance.
Any facilities or benefits associated with the previous religion of an individual, such as reservations, would be lost to them once they convert into another religion.
Although the converted person is likely to receive the benefits to which they are entitled in the religion as previously stated by Home Minister Araga Jnanendra.
According to sources, the planned ‘Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Faith Bill, 2021’ forbids conversion from one religion to another via misunderstanding, marriage, allurement, undue influence, fraud, or force.
It is also believed to suggest a sentence of three to five years in jail and a penalty of Rs 25,000, while violation of rules against SC/ST, children and women will face a sentence of 3 to 10 years in prison and a fine of not less than Rs 50,000.
The accused who forced people to convert is liable to pay up to Rs 5 lakh as compensation under the provision of the proposed bill, according to reports.
In situations of mass conversion, the law recommends a sentence of 3-10 years in prison and a fine of up to one lakh rupees.
Siddaramaiah, the Leader of the Opposition, has previously stated that Congress will not let the BJP government approve an anti-conversion law in the Assembly, and the JD(S) has also stated that it opposes the measure.
With opposition from both opposition parties, the bill’s passage in the legislative council, where the ruling BJP lacks a majority, remains to be seen.