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MP ordinance on Freedom of religion and provisions in it

The MP state cabinet brought an ordinance on MP freedom of religion bill 2020.

The ordinance has been brought till the approval of the bill from Legislative Assembly. Once the ordinance has been approved by the Governor, the Freedom of Religion Act, 1968 will become null and void.

There is a provision of 10 years jail sentence and a fine of Rs 50,000 against the Act which will try to convert women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and people of other religions.

If the clerics, priests and pujaris responsible for the conversion do not inform the collector, they will have to be jailed for five years and pay a fine of Rs 50,000.

Provisions have been made to take action against organizations and associations involved in religious conversion.

There are also provisions for women victims and their children who will be treated as inheritors of the father's properties.

Apart from parents, brothers and sisters, any other family member or legal guardian can also file a complaint about religious conversion in court.

The offense under the Act is non-bailable, and the case can only be heard by the Session Court.

An accused has to gather evidence to prove his innocence.

Freedom of religion in India is a fundamental right guaranteed by Article 25-28 of the Constitution of India.

Article 25 states "All persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right to freely promote, practice and propagate religion subject to public order, morality and health.

Article 26 states that all denominations can manage their affairs in matters of religion. All these rights have to be regulated by the state.

Article 27 states for Freedom as payment of taxes for the promotion of a particular religion. No person shall be compelled to pay any tax, the proceeds of which are exclusively appropriated in the payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of a particular religion or religious sect.

Love jihad or Romeo jihad is an Islamophobic conspiracy theory alleging that Muslim men target women of non-Muslim communities for conversion to Islam by implicating women in love.

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