No central anti-conversion law, Central Government tells Lok Sabha; religious conversions a state government domain

The Central Government Tuesday informed the Lok Sabha that the prevention, detention, registration and investigation of offences related “religious conversions” were primarily the concerns of State Governments.

It also replied that it has no proposal to bring in a central Anti-Conversion Law to curb interfaith marriages.

The Minister of State (Home) was responding to questions by Members of Parliament (MPs) Mohammad Jawed, Anto Antony, T.N. Prathapan, Kumbakudi Sudhakaran and Dr. A. Challakumar.

The MPs specifically sought to know whether the Government was of the view that interfaith marriages were happening due to forceful conversions and if so, whether sufficient evidence had been collected by the government to show that interfaith marriages in India were connected to instances of forced religious conversion.

Two states namely Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh recently brought in ordinances to regulate inter-faith marriages on account of religious conversions. These ordinances criminalise religious conversions through ‘fraudulent’ means, including those for the sake of marriage.