BJP Government in M.P, is all set violate Constitution of India; An Analysis by Father Anand Muttungal


(An Analysis of the Amendment 2013 to M.P. Dharma Swatantra Adhiniyam 1968) Bharatiya Janata Party lead Government in Madhya Pradesh made its second attempt to amend the M.P. Dharma Swatantra Adhiniyam 1968. The first attempt was done in 2006. The background to this Bill was the report of the Narendra Prasad Commission that probed the 2004 Anti-Christian Riot in Jhabua District of Madhya Pradesh. The commission even though praised the works of Christian organizations; it blamed illegal conversion as reason for the riots.
The amendments proposed in Amendment Bill 2013 of the M.P. Dharma Swatantratha Adhiniyam 1968 evidently violates the Articles 19, 21 and 25 (1) of the Constitution of India. The Proposed amendment 5 (1) :- “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.
The section 5(2):- The person who is converted shall send an intimation to the District Magistrate of the District concerned in which the ceremony has taken place of the fact of such conversion within such period and in such form as may be prescribed.
The Section 5 (3) :- Whoever without sufficient cause to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1) and (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees or with both.”
Ultra Virus of the Constitution of India, Articles 25, 21 and 19:-
1. The propagation of faith is subjected to “Law and Order” but the proposed Amendments 5 (1), (2) and (3) are not out of a situation that has risen out of Law and Order.
2. The Constitution of India permits reasonable restrictions for the purpose of smooth functioning of the Rights of Every individual but the proposed amendments have not given any reason to introduce such law and its benefits to the citizen. So the restrictions proposed to Article 21 and 25 are unreasonable.
3. The proposed amendments do not give any procedure that after the collector receives information to change religion what procedure the collector would initiate or if the collector denies the permission to change religion.
4. The proposed amendment does not give an appellant authority in case of rejection by the Collector to whom the aggrieved party can approach for easy Redressal for Justice. It clearly violates the Article 25, 21 and 19 of the Constitution.
5. The prior information that is being given to the district collector can be misused by the organizations with vested interests to intimidate the involved persons and create law and order problems in the area which will in turn be a case of mere harassment leading to violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
6. The present amendment encroaches into the fundamental rights of individuals and community. Further, it forbids imparting of religious teachings and curtails rights to practice and profess one’s religion. Faith formation is one's individual proprietary and the State cannot enact laws prohibiting the same. The proposed law has blatantly violating the personal liberty proposed in Article 21, Article 19 which gives freedom to become member of an association or form an association and Article 25 that gives freedom to propagate ones faith.
7. The proposed amendments clearly depict the hidden agenda of the ruling party to harass and persecute the Religious Minorities.
8. The Amendment 5(1) speaks about punishment against priest who takes part or performs ceremonies, as it is taking place now it will lead to false accusation and punishment to the priests. It will be a blatant misuse of law.
9. The proposed amendments will also hamper the Fundamental Duties enshrined in the Constitution of India 51 A “(c) to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India; and (e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.”
The proposed amendments are violating the constitution as pinioned by the then Solicitor General of India, Shri. G E Vahanvati in 2007 regarding the then proposed amendments in 2006 to the M.P. Dharma Swatantratha Adhiniyam 1968. Thus it needs to be dropped, at the best interest to safe guard the constitution of India. We are making all efforts to safeguard the constitution of India we would adhere to all possibilities available under the Constitution of India including the legal remedies.
The Isai Maha Sangh has taken up the matter in different forums. Yet we request all of you who are concerned about the violation of Constitution of India to give your suggestions so that we are able to challenge it in all forms including the Legal Remedies.

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