AHMEDABAD: A law which provides stringent punishment for forcible or fraudulent religious conversion through marriage came into force in Gujarat from Tuesday, an official said.
Governor Acharya Devvrat had on May 22 given his assent to the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh in certain cases.
The bill was passed on April 1 this year by the state Assembly.
An official from the Chief Minister's Office confirmed that the law has been implemented in the state as per the June 4 announcement of the CMO.
While presenting the bill, the government had said it seeks to curb the "emerging trend in which women are lured to marriage for the purpose of religious conversion."
Forcible "conversion by marriage, or by getting a person married, or by aiding a person to get married" shall invite imprisonment of 3-5 years and up to Rs 2 lakh fine.
If the victim is a minor, a woman, a Dalit or tribal, then the offender may be punished with a jail term of 4-7 years and a fine of no less than Rs 3 lakh.
If an institution or organization is found flouting the law, the person-in-charge can be sentenced to as much as ten years in jail and a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh.