Anti-superstition bill proposes minimum one-year jail term for superstitious practices

Bars inhuman acts and black magic in search of precious things, parading people naked, tying a person with rope or chain among other such acts

Published: 15th November 2017 02:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2017 08:53 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BELAGAVI: The much-awaited bill on superstitions and black magic was tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday by Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya.Amidst a protest by BJP members the government introduced four Bills — The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, The Karnataka Extension of Consequential Seniority to Government Servants promoted on the basis of reservation (to the posts in the civil services of the state) Bill, 2017, The Karnataka Urban Development Authorities (Amendment) Bill 2017 and The Karnataka Repealing of Certain Enactments Bill, 2017. The Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill aims to protect people from evil practices and to eradicate and combat inhuman practices in the name of supernatural or magical powers and to create awareness. A metropolitan magistrate or judicial magistrate first class shall try offences punishable under the Act.

JD(S) MLA Madhu Bangarappa speaks amidst empty seats in the assembly at Suvarna Vidhana Soudha on Tuesday. Attendance in the Assembly and Council was thin on the second say of the winter session too; (right) Chief Minister Siddaramaiah speaking with JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy in the Assembly | Express

The proposed Bill bars inhuman acts and black magic in search of precious things, hidden treasure and similar reasons, parading persons naked, tying a person with rope or chain, beating with a stick or whip to make the person drink water in which footwear has been soaked, administering chilli smoke, creating panic in the minds of people by invoking ghosts or similar and other things, or even encouraging committing of such acts. Any person who propagates, practices or causes to promote or inhuman, evil practices and black magic in violation of the provisions is liable for imprisonment of at least one year.
The Bill, however, does not apply to worship like Pradakshina, Yatra, Parikrama, Harikatha, Kirtan, Bhajan, performance of prayers, upasana at home, temple, dargah, gurdwara, pagoda, church and other religious places.

The Urban Development Authorities (amendment) Bill aims to bring in transparency in land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement. The Repealing of Certain Enactments Bill proposes to repeal amendment acts from 2012 to 2015 which have lost their significance as per the Union government and recommended by the Ramanujam Committee constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Spirited discussion over MSIL liquor outlets
The issue of sale of liquor saw some spirited discussion in the Assembly on Tuesday with legislators demanding setting up of more outlets run by Mysore Sales International Ltd (MSIL). Alleging that private liquor stores are fleecing people by charging in excess for cheap and substandard liquor, the members demanded fair price outlets run by MSIL. The matter was raised by Congress member Shivananda Patil, who alleged that Excise and MSIL officials were hand in glove with private liquor store owners and were submitting misleading reports. Excise Minister admitted that there is a nexus between liquor store owners and MSIL.

Exclusive cells for narcotics control, says Home Minister
The Council discussed threadbare on curbing sale of narcotic drugs and drug abuse. Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy assured that apart from setting up exclusive cells for narcotics control in Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Belagavi districts, the state government is opening 38 new police stations to handle such cases. Congress member Ivan D’Souza said drug abuse has increased in border districts and cities like Bengaluru and Mangaluru. Some farmers are being instigated to cultivate drugs like ganja, he said, adding that the police are ill-equipped in handling these cases legally.

Poor quality pepper coming via Sri Lanka, says MLC
The state government has been requested to inform the Union government about the increasing import of black pepper from other countries through Sri Lanka and impress upon it to increase the custom duty on pepper. During Question Hour, Congress MLA Veena Achchayya said that due to rampant import of substandard pepper from Vietnam through Sri Lanka, the price of the spice has come down from `750 per kg to `350. Pepper growers are under financial distress, she said. Horticulture Minister said duty being charged on import from Sri Lanka was one of the reasons for increased import of pepper.

Docs launch relay hunger strike
Belagavi: Continuing their agitation, doctors under the banner of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), launched an indefinite relay hunger strike near Suvarna Vidhan Soudha here on Tuesday. Their demand is to drop the amendments to the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME) Act, which is yet not tabled in the legislature. Medical practitioners from Belagavi, Tumakuru, Bagalkot, Haveri and other places, led by IMA state unit president H N Ravindra, took part in the day-long hunger strike. Dr Ravindra said their agitation will continue until the government drops the amendments to the KPME Act. He urged the government to adopt the recommendations of the the Vikramjit Sen Commission which had stated that government hospitals should be brought on par with private hospitals before fixing of prices for medical procedures. JD(U) leader M P Nadagouda and BJP MP Prabhakar Kore and MLA R Ashok met the protesters.

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