Bill on religious conversions evokes Oppn ire

NEW DELHI, July 27 (PTI)

A private member's bill providing for prohibition on religious conversions stirred a heated debate in the Lok Sabha today with Opposition members opposing its introduction saying it went against provisions of the Constitution which grant freedom of religion. The objection to the legislation brought by Ananth Geete of Shiv Sena was first raised by Pawan Kumar Bansal of Congress, who was then joined by other members of his party, CPM and IUML.They wanted the Speaker not to allow the motion to introduce the bill.

Geete said the bill did not seek to prohibit those who willfully wanted to convert from one religion to another, to which the Opposition members said there was already a law against forcible conversions.Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramod Mahajan said the bill was not violative of the Constitution and only sought to prohibit conversion by inducement or force by an institution. Some BJP members said though there was a law against forcible conversions, it did not cover conversions by certain organisations.

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Referred by: Mukundan CM
Published on: July 27, 2001
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