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The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act, 2022, an anti-conversion law put out by the previous Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government, may allegedly be repealed by the state’s Congress-led administration.

The legislation made it illegal to change your faith forcibly using deception, compulsion, undue influence, coercion, allurement, or any other deceptive methods.

In December 2021, the Karnataka Legislative Assembly approved the contentious Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021.

The Bill, which eventually became an Act in September 2022, was opposed by the Janata Dal (Secular) party and the Indian National Congress (INC), which at the time was a member of the opposition. [1]

After winning the elections for the state’s legislative assembly last month, the INC just took office as the state’s administration in Karnataka.

The Bill’s Section 3 makes it unlawful to convert from one faith to another using deception, compulsion, fraud, unreasonable persuasion, force, allurement, or the offer of marriage. Any violation of the Section carried a sentence of three years in jail, with a potential extension to five years, and a fine of 25,000.

The sentence was to be increased to 10 years in jail and a fine of ₹25,000 if the conversion included a minor child, a person who was not of sound mind, a woman, or a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe.

The Bill makes it essential for a person who converts to another faith to announce their intention to the competent District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate at least thirty days in advance.

The burden of evidence for demonstrating that a religious conversion was not accomplished via deception, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, or any fraudulent methods, or by marriage, rested with the individual who induced the conversion and any abettor assisting or abetting such conversion. [2]

Written by- Himanshu Mishra, a student at St. Mother Teresa Law Degree College, Lucknow, 2nd Semester, an intern under Legal Vidhiya.


[1] BAR AND BENCH, https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/karnataka-government-to-repeal-anti-conversion-law (last visited on June 15, 2023);


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