Bengaluru: Debate on Anti-Conversion Bill is back in Karnataka with the High Court accepting a PIL and issuing a notice to ruling BJP on the implementation of the law by promulgating an ordinance.
On Friday July 22 the High Court directed the government to file objections with regard to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the government’s move. The petition claimed that Anti-Conversion law (Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021) exhibited intolerance and questioned its constitutional validity.
The petition filed by All Karnataka United Christian Forum for Human Rights and Evangelical Fellowship of India from New Delhi stated that the bill is an attack on democratic values which unites the country.
A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice J. M. Khazi issued notice to the Secretary of Home department and Principal Secretary of Law Department. The bench has asked them to file objections within four weeks.
The laws formulated under the Anti-Conversion Bill violate the right of choice of an individual, right of liberty and right to practice religion. The provisions of ordinance violate Section 21 of the Indian constitution as it gives liberty to the state to violate individual rights of citizens, the petition claims.
After the ruling BJP in the State brought the Anti-Conversion law into force by promulgating an ordinance, the State Congress had announced to launch a Jan Andolan (people’s agitation) against it.
Congress stated that it will never allow the misuse of The Karnataka Protection of Rights to Freedom of Religion. “Our party will firmly stand with each individual belonging to the minority community, those who are threatened by the government. The party will launch ‘Jan Andolan’ against the proposed bill, the Congress had announced.”
The Karnataka government had tabled the proposed controversial Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021 popularly known as Anti-conversion bill in Legislative Assembly in Suvarna Vidhana Soudha at Belagavi on December 21, 2021. However, it is yet to come before the Legislative Council.
All legal entities, educational institutions, orphanages, old age homes, hospitals, religious missionaries, Non -Governmental Organizations (NGO) are brought under the purview of the institutions.
According to new law, any converted person, his parents, brother, sister or any other person who is related to him by blood, marriage or adoption or in any form associated or colleague may lodge a complaint of such conversion which contravenes the provisions. The offense is made to be non-bailable and cognizable offence.