Chandigarh, March 5, 2022: Initiating a new practice of conducting legislative business on the lines similar to Lok Sabha, Haryana Vidhan Sabha Speaker Gian Chand gave an equal opportunity to the members to speak in House during Zero Hour by conducting a draw of lots.
On the third day of the ongoing budget session in the Vidhan Sabha, 13 MLAs had put slips with their names in the box, out of which 10 slips were taken out and they were given an opportunity to speak for 5 minutes each. The MLAs shared some pivotal public welfare issues alongwith the issues related to their Assembly Constituency.
The Chief Minister, who is also the Leader of the House will include these issues in his reply to the Governor’s Address.
The Budget session of the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, which commenced on March 2, 2022, was also started on the lines of Lok Sabha. Although the provision of zero-hour was not scheduled as per the timetable issued for the proceedings of the Assembly Session, it was done on the request made by the members. Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Kanwar Pal proposed that today on March 4, the proceedings of the house would be held in two sittings, which were unanimously supported by all the members. Therefore, today, the first sitting of the House started at 10 am and continued till 1.30 pm, while the second sitting started from 2.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
He said that any religious priest or any person intending to organize a conversion shall give prior notice to the District Magistrate in advance giving information about the venue where such conversion is proposed to be organized. A copy of this notice shall be pasted on the notice board outside the District Magistrate’s office.
If any person has an objection to this conversion, then they can file their objection in writing within 30 days. The District Magistrate shall investigate and decide whether the conversion is intended to be in contravention of Section 3. If the District Magistrate comes to the conclusion that the intended conversion is in contravention of Section 3, then he shall decline the intended conversion by passing a reasoned order. An appeal can be made against the order passed by the District Magistrate before the Divisional Commissioner within 30 days.
If the conversion is done by allurement, use of force, or fraudulent means, coercion, then there is a provision of imprisonment of 1 year to 5 years and a fine of not less than Rs 1 lakh. If religion is concealed with the intention to marry, then the person shall be punished with imprisonment of 3 years to 10 years and shall also be liable to pay a fine which shall not be less than Rs. 3 lakh.
Whoever contravenes the provision of section 3 of this bill in respect of mass conversion shall be punished with the imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to pay a fine not less than Rs 4 lakh.
If any institution or organization that violates any provisions of this Act, shall also be liable for punishment as provide under section 12 of this Act and the registration of that institution or organization will also be cancelled by the competent authority. Any offense committed under this Act shall be cognizable and non-bailable.
The Chief Minister said that many such cases have come to the notice of people in the state wherein the people of the state are being converted through various allurements. Some of them were even forcibly converted. Besides this, there have also been cases where girls of other religions were married by misinterpreting their religion and such girls were forced to convert after marriage.
Such incidents not only violate our religious freedom but also hurt the socio-religious fabric of society. To stop such incidents, The Haryana Prevention of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2022 has been introduced, said Manohar Lal.
While terming the act of tearing of Bill by Congress members, especially by the former Speaker of the Assembly, Dr. Raghuvir Singh Kadian, the Chief Minister said that it was an insult to the legal document presented in the House and he has also violated the decorum and dignity of the House.
The Chief Minister made it very clear that the matter pertaining to the members involved in such incidents would be referred to the Committee of Privileges, Vidhan Sabha.
He said that Section 3 of the said Bill makes it clear that no person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any other person from one religion to another by misrepresentation, use of force, threat, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by fraudulent means including the use of digital mode or by marriage or for marriage.
Later, Vidhan Sabha Speaker and Deputy Chief Minister, Sh. Dushyant Chautala assured to send the matter to the Committee of Privileges on the request made by MLA, Sh. Bharat Bhushan Batra, who is also the Chairman of the Rules Committee. The Speaker also suspended Dr. Raghuvir Singh Kadian from attending the remaining sittings of the ongoing Session.