Love jihad row: Assam brings in new marriage law

Chennai: Close on the heels of Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel giving assent to an ordinance against forcible or ‘dishonest’ religious conversions, the Assam government is formulating a new marriage law under which the bride and groom will have to disclose their religion and income in official documents a month before the wedding.

According to reports, “The proposed marriage law will require couples to declare their family details, education, source of income, profession, permanent address along with religion in a prescribed form one month before the wedding. A failure to do this will result in legal action.”

State Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who said that the State is not against ‘Love jihad’, noted that the new law will ‘empower our sisters by bringing transparency’.

In UP, three days after the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet cleared the ordinance to bring in the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 against what the BJP calls ‘love jihad’, the Governor promulgated the law, giving it a more definitive power.

Although the Ordinance nowhere uses the term ‘Love Jihad’, the BJP leaders have maintained that it is a law to prevent what they allege ‘rising cases of Hindu girls being lured through fraudulent ways into marriage by Muslim youths’.

The State cabinet presided over by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier this week approved the draft ordinance to curb forcible or ‘dishonest’ religious conversions including those for the sake of marriage, which could land violators in jail for up to 10 years.

The Ordinance provides for a maximum of ten years imprisonment besides a fine of Rs 15,000 for violators.

In case of minor girls and women from SC and ST communities, the minimum imprisonment would be of two years while the maximum imprisonment will be for ten years besides a fine of Rs 25,000.

Three years of minimum and ten years of maximum imprisonment had been provided for mass religious conversion. A fine of Rs 50,000 would also be imposed on the offenders.

 

NT Bureau