Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday gave its approval to the law against religious conversion through deceit, force, allurement or any other fraudulent means or for the purpose of marriage, providing for a maximum of ten years imprisonment, along with a fine.
The draft ordinance in this regard was approved by the state cabinet at its meeting here chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
According to an official spokesman here, the ordinance puts religious conversions under certain situations under the category of an offence.
"Religious conversion, if done under duress, force, allurement or any other fraudulent means or for the purpose of marriage will be an offence under the law," he said.
He also said that the registration of certain social organisations involved in mass religious conversion would be cancelled and stern action would be taken against them.
The onus of proving that the religious conversion had not be undertaken through the means mentioned under the law would be on the person converting and the one, who was getting him converted.
"If conversion is done for the purpose of marriage only then such marriages will be declared as void under the this law," he added.
The ordinance provided for a punishment with imprisonment for a minimum period of one year and maximum period of five years besides a fine of Rs 15,000.
In case of minor girl and women from SC and ST communities, the minimum imprisonment would be of two years while the maximum imprisonment will be for ten years besides a fine of Rs 25,000.
Three years of minimum and ten years of maximum imprisonment had been provided for mass religious conversion. A fine of Rs 50,000 would also be imposed on the offenders.
Any one wanting to convert on one's own volition to marry would have to compulsorily give an application in this regard to the concerned district magistrate a month in advance.
The ordinance comes with days after UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's warning that those indulging in 'love jihad' should be ready for 'Ram Naam Satya' journey.