Government Announces Anti-Conversion Law not in Force in Tamil Nadu, India

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalalithaa declared on 21st May 2005 that the anti-conversion law is no longer in force in Tamil Nadu, one of the States of India.

The anti-conversion law was brought into force in 2002 by CM Jayalalithaa's government. However, after meetings with senior Christian and Muslim leaders, agreeing with their request, the law was repealed by ordinance immediately on 18th May 2004.

"Following representations from minorities, I had announced on May 13, 2004, that the law would be repealed and an ordinance was promulgated on May 18 the same year," she said according to Chennaionline.com.

Doubts whether the law was in force or not arose as attempts to mis-inform by certain groups appeared: "Some people had contacted the government to know whether the anti-conversion law was in force," she said.

These attempts were based on the fact that the ordinance was not replaced by legislation in the State Assembly and it had lapsed, but the Supreme Court stated in the case "T. Venkata Reddy Vs State of Andhra Pradesh case" that even though the ordinance lapsed, the anti-conversion law that was repealed by the ordinance would stay repealed.

"The Supreme Court had held that an ordinance to repeal an Act would be in force even though it lapsed after six months from the date of promulgation," she said.

She declared that her government wished to assure the full protection and safety to all minorities in the State.

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