No nationwide anti-conversion law planned, says Centre in Parliament

If the Central Government is not going to legislate this Act, who will stop the religious conversion of Hindus from taking place through various nefarious means ?

New Delhi – A nationwide law to ban religious conversions or interfaith marriages is not being planned since it falls under the dominion of States, the Central Government said in Parliament on 2nd February, amid a renewed drive for such legislation in several BJP-ruled States.

“Public order and Police are State subjects as per the 7th Schedule to the Constitution of India. Hence, prevention, detection, registration, investigation and prosecution of offences 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 (Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs).

The Minister’s statement was in response to questions raised by five Congress MPs from Kerala who had asked whether the Government believed that forced conversions were taking place because of interfaith marriages and details of any laws planned to curb them.

The questions came in the wake of widely-criticised laws that target interfaith marriages enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh – both ruled by the BJP. Several other States governed by the party including Haryana, Assam and Karnataka have also announced plans for such laws.