Maharashtra Assembly Passes Black Magic Bill
The Black Magic bill has been finally passed in the Maharashtra Assembly amid strong objections by the Opposition parties and activists that bill would actually end up protecting fake babas and other practitioners of black magic instead of punishing them.
The bill on Maharashra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic was passed by the Maharashtra Assembly on Friday by voice vote.
However in doing so it has removed a vital provision from the bill in which the police could take cognizance of third party informations against dubious babas. However the bill that has been hurriedly passed in the Lower House by the state government has no such provision in fact it says that the police could take action if a family member of the aggrieved party approaches the police to inform against those indulging in black magic. So if a neighbour or any social activist sees any baba promising a miracle cure, the police will not entertain their information as the police would entertain complaints from the family member of those cheated or being treated by a baba or a fake god man.
Incidentally both the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister were not present in the house when the bill was passed.
BJP Leader Vinod Tawde told reporters that the purpose of the bill would be defeated if the third party is not allowed to complain and said that the bill would be toothless. “ We did raise our concerns regarding third party complaints earlier, as we felt it could be misused, so we suggested to the government that arrests could be made after third party complaints only after an ok from the the IG level or the Deputy Suprintendent of police. The government however has totally removed the part of third party clause to initiate FIR.” said Tawde.
However social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe claimed that the bill was effective and said, “If the family of the affected person does not come forward to inform, the police can still take a suo moto action against such persons,” said Moghe.
The Shiv Sena however claimed that the bill was passed in haste and that it was not allowed to be in discussion and now it would take to the streets against the bill. Countering this claim of Shiv Sena social Justice Minister Moghe however said that the bill was being discussed for the past 11 years and the bill was only passed in the Assembly after prior consultations.