Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh government on Saturday brought into force the contentious Freedom of Religion ordinance, known in political parlance as ‘Love Jihad’ law, providing a maximum jail term of 10 years for forcible marriage of a girl for the purpose of changing her religion.
The ordinance was enforced 2 days after the governor Anandiben Patel gave her assent to it on Thursday.
Earlier on December 29, the state cabinet gave a nod to the ordinance in the wake of suspension of the winter session of the state assembly, scheduled to commence on December 28.
The state cabinet had last month given approval to the Freedom of Religion Bill, 2020, which was scheduled to see passage in the state assembly in the now-suspended winter session.
The ordinance has provided a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment for forcible marriage of a girl for the purpose of changing her religion.
It has been made mandatory for the bride and the groom to notify the local district magistrate 2 months ahead of their conversions, failing which the marriage would be nullified.
The ordinance has provided 5 years’ jail term for the religious leaders and priests involved in the forcible marriages.
Onus would be on the accused to prove his or her innocence. The ordinance has made provision of maintenance to the victim and her children.