The bill, titled “Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill 2021”, seeks to prohibit conversion from one religion to another by means it calls fraudulent.
The Legislative Assembly had passed the legislation in December 2021, during the winter session of the State Assembly.
The bill has drawn widespread dissent from the opposition, religious authorities and residents of the state, with Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Chairman DK Shivakumar saying: “The government is trying to undermine the contributions of the Christian community in education and other fields by proposing this (anti-conversion) law”.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had also accused the BJP of trying to implement its “hidden agenda” by raising issues such as “Love Jihad, Anti Conversion”.
Similar laws are already in force in other BJP-ruled states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.
(With contributions from the Hindustan Times and ANI.)