GOVERNOR BALRAM Jakhar, while examining an anti-conversion bill forwarded to him for his approval, is understood to have sought details of religious conversions that took place in the State over the last four decades, sources said on Saturday.
In a bid to get a clear picture on the issue, Jakhar has asked for detailed information regarding religious conversions in various districts since the enactment of the Freedom of Religion Act, as a recent amendment seeking to make it tougher is pending his approval, they said.
The amendment was passed by the State Assembly during its monsoon session without any discussion when members of the main Opposition Congress were busy raising another issue in the House vociferously, they said. Congress leaders had criticised the way in which it was passed and asked Jakhar to hold his approval.
Seeking to curb religious conversions through force, pressure and allurement, the recent amendment makes prior permission from competent authorities mandatory and also provides for a jail term and penalty for both the priest and the convert if the conversion is unauthorised, they said.
Under the original Act, the person desirous of adopting a new religious faith is required to inform the authorities within a month of his conversion, sources said.
While the ruling BJP was of the view that the present law lacked the necessary teeth to check conversion through force and allurement, the governor seems to be keen to examine facts about its effectiveness, they said.