Minister of state for home affairs Kishan Reddy has stated in Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to bring a nationwide central anti-conversion law.
In a written reply to a question whether the government intends to propose a Central anti-conversion law to curb interfaith marriages, the minister said: “No, sir.”
Recently two states, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, have been in news for enacting laws making inter-religious marriages, solemnized for the sole purpose of conversion, illegal. Besides that, Himachal Pradesh already had this law in place.
The offense of illegal conversion under these laws in all the three states is cognisable and non-bailable and prescribes the jail term of ranging up to 10 years in UP and MP, while it is up to seven years under the law in Himachal Pradesh.
On a query raised by five Congress MPs from Kerala on if the government was of the view that inter-faith marriages were happening due to forceful conversions, Reddy stated that ‘Public order’ and ‘Police’ lay under State’s domain.
“Public order and police are state subjects as per the seventh schedule to the Constitution of India. Hence prevention, detection, registration, investigation, and prosecution of offenses related to religious conversions are primarily the concerns of the state governments and Union territory administrations. Action is taken as per existing laws by the law enforcing agencies whenever instances of violation come to notice,” said G. Kishan Reddy.