The Uttar Pradesh government on November 24 approved the draft of a stringent law to deal with religious conversion for the sake of marriage, which BJP leaders refer to as "love jihad".
An official spokesperson said the approval for the ordinance was given at a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
State Cabinet minister Siddharth Nath Singh said that the ordinance provides for jail term of one to five years with Rs 15,000 penalty for forceful religious conversion.
"For conversions of minors and women of SC/SC community, there will be jail term of 3-10 years with Rs 25,000 penalty," Singh told news agency ANI.
"In cases of forced mass conversions, the ordinance provides for jail term of 3-10 years with Rs 50,000 penalty. If a person wants to perform marriage after converting into any other religion, they will need to take permission from DM 2 months before marriage," the minister said.
Earlier in the day, Allahabad High Court held that two adults have the right to choose their life partner irrespective of religion.
While hearing a case filed against a Muslim man, Salamat Ansari, by the parents of his Hindu wife, Priyanka Kharwar, who converted to Islam to marry him, the court said, "To disregard the choice of a person who is of the age of majority would not only be antithetic to the freedom of choice of a grown-up individual, but would also be a threat to the concept of unity in diversity."(With inputs from PTI)