Amid strong opposition from the Congress party, anti-conversion Bill was passed by voice vote in the legislative Assembly on Thursday.

The Bill states, "No person shall convert or attempt to convert either directly or otherwise any other person from one religion to another by use of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage, nor shall any person abet or conspire for conversions."

anti-conversion Bill

It, however, provides an exemption in the case of a person who "reconverts to his immediate previous religion" as "the same shall not be deemed to be a conversion under this Act".

However, the Congress party said that it would rollback the Bill when it comes to power.

Former Karnataka chief minister and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah has termed the anti-conversion Bill passed by the Karnataka Assembly on Thursday as "anti-Constitution and anti-human being" and 'RSS agenda'.


Reacting to Siddaramaiah's remark, Chief Minister Basavraj Bommai said, "Certainly, there is nothing to hide. He (Siddaramaiah) himself had printed the Bill and signed the draft. He is a part of it. He approved the RSS agenda in 2016 itself."

To protect SCs and STs

Further, Bommai added: "We know the situation of SC and ST. They are ignored and remain vulnerable. Our intention behind bringing this bill is to protect SC, ST communities and women. The Bill will provide for the protection of the right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means. It proposes imprisonment of up to 10 years for forced religious conversion.

Explaining the bill, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said its initiation was by the Law Commission of Karnataka under the advice of the then Congress government in 2016, led by Siddaramaiah.

He said, "the draft bill prepared by the Law Commission, has been scrutinised by the scrutiny committee, and there is your (Siddaramaiah) signature as CM on the draft bill, to bring it before the cabinet.... but it did not come before the cabinet. We have proceeded what they (Congress govt) had initiated and left." He then placed documents to support its claim before the House.

Siddaramaiah said he couldn't recall the draft bill reaching him, but later admitted it reached him but not taken up for a discussion in the cabinet.