The following is a guest post by Tariq Ahmad, foreign law specialist in the Global Legal Research Directorate of the Law Library of Congress. Tariq has previously contributed posts on Islamic Law in Pakistan – Global Legal Collection Highlights, the Law Library’s 2013 Panel Discussion on Islamic Law, Sedition Law in India, New Report from the Law Library of Congress On The Regulation of Hemp Around the World, and FALQ posts on Proposals to Reform Pakistan’s Blasphemy Laws, Article 370 and the Removal of Jammu and Kashmir’s Special Status, and The Controversy Over Marriage and Anti-Conversion Laws in India.
Join us on April 25, 2023, at 2 p.m. EDT for our next foreign and comparative law webinar titled, “Judicial Responses to Anti-Conversion Laws in India.”
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This entry in the series will try to provide an overview of India’s state-level anti-conversion laws and judicial responses to them.
India’s Freedom of Religion Acts or “anti-conversion” laws are state-level statutes that have been enacted to regulate religious conversions. The laws are in force in more than 10 out of 29 states with some estimates at 12. Some of the states include Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana. While there are some variations between the state laws, they are very similar in their content and certain features. Most of the laws include prohibitions and penalties and require advance notification of religious conversions to the government.
More recently, several states have passed freedom of religion acts that attempt to regulate religious conversions and include controversial marriage provisions sometimes pejoratively referred to as “love jihad” laws. The webinar will focus on how the Supreme Court and high courts are considering both the misuse and constitutionality of the recently issued laws and ordinances.
This webinar will be presented by Senior Foreign Law Specialist Tariq Ahmad. Tariq’s work at the Law Library covers mostly South Asian common law jurisdictions, particularly India and Pakistan. He takes a particular research interest in religion and law issues in the South Asia region. Tariq holds an LL.M. degree in international law from American University Washington College of Law and an LL.B. from the University College London. He also holds a B.A. in political science from Ohio State University.
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