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Haryana: Specifying reasons, income & caste must for conversion

Haryana: Specifying reasons, income & caste must for conversion


Tribune News Service

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Chandigarh, December 19

The Haryana Government has notified “Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Rules, 2022” under which a person who is intending to convert has to specify whether he belongs to Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, his occupation, income, address, and reasons for conversion in an application before District Magistrate (DM).

Rules notified

  • The ‘Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2022’, was passed in March this year
  • The rules have specified the details to be filled in by the person intending to convert in Form A
  • The person has to tell the duration for which he has been professing the religion that he or she has decided to renounce in Form A
  • Any marriage solemnised by concealment of religion shall be null and void
  • The priest organising the conversion has to specify caste or tribe of the persons intending to convert
  • Names, addresses of persons present there to be mentioned

The person has to tell the duration for which he has been professing the religion that he or she has decided to renounce in Form A, besides informing the date when he is intending to convert, say the rules, notified on December 15.

Under Section 9 of the “Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2022”, which was passed in March this year, a person has to give a declaration prior to his conversion that he or she is converting out of his or her own “free will and without any force, coercion, undue influence or allurement”. Now, the rules have specified the details to be filled in by the person intending to convert in Form A.

Similarly, the religious priest who is organising the conversion ceremony has to specify the caste or tribe of the persons intending to convert, besides their occupation, income and reasons for conversion in Form C, say the rules. He also has to specify the names and addresses of persons who are likely to attend the conversion ceremony.

After getting the application, the DM will put up the information of such notices at a conspicuous place or on the notice board of his office.

The DM then has to decide on objections received on these notices and can get conducted an inquiry by such officer or agency, as he may deem fit.

After that, he can either reject the conversion or issue a certificate validating it after recording reasons in writing. There is a provision for filing an appeal against the order of the DM before the Divisional Commissioner.

Any marriage solemnised by the concealment of the religion shall be null and void, says Section 5 of the Act. For declaring a marriage null and void, a petition has to be filed before a court under Section 6 of the Act. Now, rules say the court may order the respondent to pay the maintenance and expenses of the proceedings on the filing of an application by the petitioner.

The rules add that at the time of declaring the marriage as null and void, the court may order the respondent “to pay such gross sum or such monthly maintenance or periodical amount for a term not exceeding the life of the petitioner considering the respondent’s own income and other property, if any, the income and other property of the applicant, the conduct of the parties and other circumstances of the case”.

The minor child born out of such marriage also has the right to maintenance.

In case of the death of the respondent, the payment of the maintenance amount can be made by making a charge on his immovable property.

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