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Pratibha Patil forwards Religious Freedom Bill to President
June 20, 2007 14:17 IST
Rajasthan Governor Pratibha Patil has forwarded the controversial Rajasthan Religious Freedom Bill 2006 to President APJ Abdul Kalam [Images].
The Bill has been pending with the Governor for over a year after the Assembly passed it last April 6 amidst uproarious scenes and boycott by the opposition parties.
The Bill 'prohibiting religious conversion by use of force, allurement or fraudulent means' has been returned to the cabinet by the Governor, excercising her powers under Article 200 of the Constitution.
The Governor reportedly found some of the provisions in the Bill infringing upon the fundamental rights of freedom of speech and expression, freedom of conscience and freedom to profess, practice and propagate religion.
The cabinet, which considerd Governor Patil's 'reservations' on the Bill decided to return it to the Governor without amendments on June 13 last year and since then it has been pending with her.
Meanwhile, the Rajasthan government also considered coming out with an amended version of the Bill to break the deadlock but the idea was dropped on the advice of the legal department.
The Bill has attracted international attention with Pope Benedict saying that it was infringing on the religious freedom of minorities.