Parliament – Sessions, Procedures, Motions, Committees etc

Centre’s scrutiny of UP’s conversion ban ordinance


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Art 123, Art 213

Mains level : Not Much

The ordinance on unlawful religious conversions, promulgated by the UP government last year, has not been sent to the Centre for examination, according to a reply from the Union Home Ministry.

What is the news?

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) examines bills passed by State assemblies that are repugnant with Central laws before they get the President’s assent to become a law.
  • This is done in accordance with Article 213 of the Constitution which provides for an ordinance making power of the Governor of a state.

What does Article 213 say?

  • Governor of an Indian state draws ordinance making power from Article 21.
  • This Article empowers the Governor to promulgate Ordinance, during the recess of the legislature, if circumstances exist which render it necessary for him to take immediate action.
  • To issue an Ordinance, the Governor must be satisfied with the circumstances that make it necessary for him to take immediate action.
  • All Ordinances promulgated by the Governor in the State have the same effect and force as an Act of Legislature of the State.
  • The Ordinance must be laid before the State Legislature when it reassembles and it must be upheld by the State legislature, failure to which the Ordinance would be invalid.

Governor CANNOT promulgate an ordinance if:

  1. The Ordinance has the provisions which of embodied in a bill would require President’s sanction.
  2. The Ordinance has the provisions which the governor would reserve as a Bill containing them for the President’s sanction.
  3. If an act of the State Legislature has the same provisions that would be invalid without the assent of the President.

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which of the following are the discretionary powers given to the Governor of a State?

  1. Sending a report to the President of India for imposing the President’s rule
  2. Appointing the Ministers
  3. Reserving certain bills passed by the State Legislature for consideration of the President of India
  4. Making the rules to conduct the business of the State Government

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Centre’s scrutiny of ordinances

  • MHA sends State bills for inter-ministerial consultation before they get the President’s nod.
  • This is done only when it has repugnancy with central laws, deviates from national or central policy and when it can be challenged for legal and constitutional validity.

Controversy with UP’s ordinance

  • The controversial ordinance was promulgated in November 2020 and so far more than 90 people, most of them minorities, have been booked.
  • The law makes religious conversion a non-bailable offence, inviting penalties of up to 10 years in prison.
  • It is on the ground if guilty is found to be effected for marriage or through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or other alleged fraudulent means.
  • According to the Ordinance, in case of conversion done by a woman for the sole purpose of marriage, the marriage would be declared null and void.

Back2Basics: Ordinance

  • Article 123 of the Constitution of India gives the power and authority to the President of India to issue an ordinance only when both the Houses of Parliament are not in session.
  • In addition, it states that any ordinance can have the same force and effect as a statute of Parliament only if it is laid before both the houses of the Parliament.
  • Further, Ordinance so made will hold good only for the duration of six weeks from the reassembly of Parliament.
  • Article 213 mandates near-identical terms with respect to the ordinances on the subject of State authority.
  • It is understood that the authority to issue ordinances shall be used only to meet the emergent demands arising out of extraordinary situations.

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