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Report No. 235

Recommendations

16. The Law Commission, therefore, proposes to formulate the following recommendations:

1. Within a month after the date of conversion, the converted person, if she/he chooses, can send a declaration to the officer in charge of registration of marriages in the concerned area.

2. The registering official shall exhibit a copy of the declaration on the Notice Board of the office till the date of confirmation.

3. The said declaration shall contain the requisite details viz., the particulars of the convert such as date of birth, permanent address, and the present place of residence, father's/husband's name, the religion to which the convert originally belonged and the religion to which he or she converted, the date and place of conversion and nature of the process gone through for conversion.

4. Within 21 days from the date of sending/filing the declaration, the converted individual can appear before the registering officer, establish her/his identity and confirm the contents of the declaration.

5. The Registering officer shall record the factum of declaration and confirmation in a register maintained for this purpose. If any objections are notified, he may simply record them i.e., the name and particulars of objector and the nature of objection.

6. Certified copies of declaration, confirmation and the extracts from the register shall be furnished to the party who gave the declaration or the authorized legal representative, on request.

17. Now, the question arises as to how the above recommendations could be implemented. It is clarified that in whichever State, there is a law governing conversion such as Freedom of Religion Act, the above recommendations do not apply. The question then is whether for implementation of the said recommendations in other States, the enactment of law by Parliament is necessary. The Commission is inclined to think that a separate enactment or amendments to the respective personal laws is not required to give effect to this simple recommendation having regard to the fact that it does not go contrary to the existing provisions of law nor does in any way impinge on the religious freedom or faith of any person. Matters relating to conversion/reconversion are governed by the personal laws in respect of which Parliament has power to make laws.

The Central Government can exercise its executive power under Article 73 to issue appropriate instructions to the Union Territories. Similar communications may be addressed by the Central Government to the States (where there are no laws governing the conversion) to give effect to the recommendations set out supra. The Governments concerned in their turn will have to issue necessary orders to the Registration officers. That can be done by the Governments of UT and State Governments administratively.

(Justice P.V. Reddi) Chairman

(Justice Shiv Kumar Sharma) Member

(Amarjit Singh) Member

(Dr Brahm Agrawal) Member-Secretary



Conversion/Reconversion to another Religion - Mode of Proof Back




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