The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2003
"The Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2003"
To provide for freedom of religion by prohibition of conversion from one religion to another by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means and for the matters incidental thereto.
It is hereby enacted in the fifty fourth year of the Republic of India as follows:-
This Act may be called the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act,2003.
(1) It shall come into force on such date as the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint.
(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-
(a) "allurement" means offer of any temptation in the form of
(i) any gift or gratification either in cash or kind;
(ii) grant of any material benefit either monetary or otherwise;
(b) “convert” means to make one person to renounce one religion and adopt another religion.
(c) “force” shall include misrepresentation or any other fraudulent contrivance.
(d) “fraudulent” means , includes misrepresentation or any other fraudulent contrivance.
(e) “minor” means a person under eighteen years of age.
(3) No person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religion to another by use of force or by allurement or by any fraudulent means nor shall any person abet such conversion.
(4) Whoever contravenes the provision of section 3 shall, without prejudice to any civil liability, be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years and also be liable to fine, which may extend to rupees fifty thousand. Provided that whoever contravenes the provisions of section 3 in respect of a minor, a woman or a person belonging to the Scheduled Tribe or Scheduled Caste shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to four years and also liable to fine, which may extend to rupees fifty thousand.
i). Whoever converts any person from one religion to another either by performing any ceremony by himself for such conversion as a religious priest or takes part directly or indirectly in such ceremony shall take prior permission for such proposed conversion from the District Magistrate concerned by applying in such form as may be prescribed by rules.
ii).The person who is converted shall send an intimation to the District Magistrate of the District concerned within such period and in such form as may be prescribed by rules.
iii). Whoever fails, without sufficient cause, to comply with the provisions of sub-sections (i) and (ii) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to rupees one thousand or with both.
(6) No prosecution for an offence under this Act shall be instituted except by or with the previous sanction of the District Magistrate or such other authority not below the rank of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate as any be authorized by him in that behalf.
(7) An offence under this Act will be cognizable and shall not be investigated by an officer below the rank of a Police Inspector.
i). The State Government may, be notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the provisions of this Act.
ii). All rules made under this section shall be laid for not less than thirty days before the State Legislature as soon as may be after they are made , and shall be subject to rescission by the State Legislature may make during the session in which they are so laid or the session immediately following.
iii). Any rescission or modification so made by the State Legislature shall be published in the Official Gazette, and shall there upon take effect.