KARNATAKA BECOMES ELEVENTH STATE TO PASS AN ANTI-
CONVERSION LAW that criminalises religious conversions solicited through
force, fraud or allurement.
The law, known formally as the Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill,
was passed by the state legislature’s upper house on 15 th September 2022.
The passing of this law makes permanent the provision of a temporary anti-
conversion ordinance announced in May 2022.
The law carries a punishment of five years’ imprisonment and a minimum fine of
25,000 rupees (£275) for those who solicit religious conversions using “force,
undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means” or “by a
promise of marriage”.
An attempt to convert a minor, a woman, or a person belonging to the Scheduled
Castes (those viewed as having the lowest status according to the Hindu caste
system) is punishable with a maximum of ten years in prison and a fine of
50,000 rupees (£550).
Anyone who wishes to change religion must inform the authorities of the
reasons for their conversion 30 days before making the change.
Opposition parties and Christian Leaders argued that the bill violates Article 25
of the Indian constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion.