The winter session of the Uttarakhand Assembly began today with a more stringent anti-conversion bill among ten legislations tabled in the House.
To be called Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2022, the bill seeks to make unlawful conversion a cognisable and non-bailable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term of at least six months to a maximum of five years.
The offender will also be fined Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000.
"No person shall convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means. No person shall abet, convince or conspire such conversion," the draft of the bill said.
Stating the objects and reasons for the bill, State Minister for Religious Affairs, Satpal Maharaj, said: "Under articles 25,26, 27 and 28 of the Constitution of India, under Right to Freedom of Religion, to equally strengthen the importance of every religion, an amendment in Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018, is necessary.
Another important bill to be tabled in the state Assembly on the opening day of the session was, the Uttarakhand Public Services (Horizontal Reservation for Women) bill, 2022, seeking to provide 20-30 per cent horizontal reservation to women permanently domiciled in Uttarakhand in direct recruitment to public services and posts.
Other bills to be tabled were the Uttrakhand Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill, the Bengal, Agra, and Assam Civil Courts (Uttarakhand Amendment and Supplementary Provisions) Bill, Uttarakhand Shops and Establishments (Amendment) bill, the Uttarakhand district planning committee (Amendment) bill, University of petroleum and energy studies (Amendment) bill.
Uttarakhand anti-littering and anti-spitting (Amendment) bill, Uttarakhand Goods and Services Tax Amendment bill and the Indian Stamp (Uttarakhand Amendment) Bill.
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