Karnataka governor Thaawar Chand Gehlot on Tuesday gave his assent to the contentious anti-conversion ordinance, a day after a delegation of Christian bishops met him and appealed against doing so.
The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2022 is now a law.
The state BJP government promulgated the ordinance on May 12 as the bill could not be tabled in the Upper House of the state legislature where the ruling party lacked majority. The bill was passed in the state Assembly in December.
The governor’s nod to the ordinance, which was notified in the state gazette on Tuesday, provides the government six month’s time to get it passed in the Legislative Council.
The ordinance has provisions for jail terms of up to 10 years and up to Rs1 lakh in penalty for conversions through coercion or allurement.
The government is expected to get the bill passed in the Upper House well before the six-month period as it stands to gain some of the seven seats that would fall vacant in the Legislative Council on June 14.