THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Intelligence ADGP A Hemachandran has called for sensitising police officials on the criminality involved in usury.
Addressing a seminar organised by the Janamaithri Suraksha Project (JSP) on “strategies to deal with blade mafia”, the ADGP said a good majority of officials were unaware of the legal provisions to tackle the social menace.
Around 300 officials of the JSP, the community policing initiative, attended the programme.
“Law enforcers have a lacklustre attitude to the offence of lending at exorbitant rates.
“There were instances in which the police sympathised with the lender and blamed the victim for non-repayment,” Hemachandran said.
“Usury is a multi-layered evil which involves various issues such as threat, abduction or sexual assault, besides loss of money and property,” Hemachandran said. “Officials should be well aware of the Kerala Money Lenders Act and the Kerala Prohibition of Charging
Exorbitant Interest Act to deal with illegal money lending.
“Relevant sections of the IPC can also be charged for offences such as cheating, molestation and forgery as the case may be,” Hemachandran said.
For example, the official said, if a lender fills a blank cheque obtained from the borrower, the former can be charged with IPC 420 and IPC 468, cheating and forgery.
If a moneylender takes away any good from the borrower’s house, IPC 379 (theft) or IPC 392 (robbery) can be charged.
The official asked the Janamaithri Suraksha Projectbeat officers to campaign for income-based spending among the public.
“Beat meetings should discuss the dangers of luxurious lifestyle which often result in debts and tragedies,” Intelligence ADGP A Hemachandran said.