With effect from June 15, the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill 2021 has been notified in the state. This Bill was passed by the state assembly on June 1 and got Governor Acharya Devavrat’s assent in May, is now a law in the state.
After Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat becomes the third state to implement the love Jihad law. As per the law, if anybody is found guilty of forced conversion, they will be punished with four to seven years of jail term and strict punishment to those who are found complicit in the conversion through marriage.
Here are a few provisions of the law:
- Marriage just for the sake of conversion or conversion just for the sake of marriage will be termed illegal by the Family Court or the Court.
- Nobody will be allowed directly or otherwise, by force or by deception to get one married or help in getting married for the sake of conversion.
- The burden of proof to prove the guilt will be on the accused, accuser, and those who have assisted.
- Everybody who commits the crime, helps in committing the crime, advises in committing a crime will be equally held guilty.
- Those who are found violating these provisions may get a minimum of 3 to 5 years of jail and at least ₹2 lakh as fine.
- In the case of women, Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, there is a provision of 4 to 7 years of jail and a fine of ₹3 lakh.
- Those organisations who fail to comply with these provisions, their registrations will be cancelled and those found guilty will be punished for 3 to 10 years in jail and will be asked to pay a fine of ₹5 lakh. Such organisations will not be considered for getting state grants or financial aid since the day of filing of the charge sheet.
- Under the provisions of this Act, the crime committed will be considered non-bailable and cognisable and will not be probed by officers below the rank of Superintendent of Police.