Gujarat freedom of religion act – A model for other states

via HK Correspondent published on July 14, 2008

AHMEDABAD : The media as usual did not attach much importance to a very important Bill passed by the Gujarat state assembly. The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act Bill was passed in the last budget session and was to have taken effect on 1 April 2008, but the Government took time to formulate and notify the rules under the Act.


The Act provides for stringent punishment in cases of religious conversions through force, lure or deceit. The Act makes it mandatory for an individual seeking to convert to apply in a prescribed form to the district magistrate. He would be allowed to proceed only if the approval was granted within a month. The individual must inform the magistrate of the change of religion within 10 days.  Punishment to those who fail to comply with the provisions of the Act include jail term of upto 3 years and a fine of Rs.50,000/- for general conversions, which will go up to 4 years in jail and a fine of Rs.1 lakh if the converted person is a minor, women or an SC or ST.


It would be appropriate if such a Bill is passed by the Parliament and BJP should care to add this in their election manifesto.

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