LUCKNOW: After seeing the passage of UP Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA)-2017 in state assembly by voice vote amid opposition’s walkout on Thursday, Yogi Adityanath government introduced the stringent law Bill against organised crime in state Legislative Council where it was stalled by the united opposition on the concluding day of the winter session of state legislature here on Friday. The bill was referred to the house panel for further scrutiny.
In fact, the bill was expected a blockade in the Council owing to the objections of Opposition as the ruling BJP is just 13–member strong in the upper house of 100. While Samajwadi Party has a comfortable majority in Council with 61 members, BSP and Congress have nine and two members, respectively.
Meanwhile, RLD has just one member and 'others' from teachers and graduate constituencies are 12. Two seats are lying vacant. The bill, which has provisions for stringent laws to check organised crime, was tabled by deputy chief minister Dinesh Sharma in the upper house. The bill has been formulated on the lines of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
After a spirited debate over the bill, Council chairman Ramesh Yadav referred it to the select committee of the upper house for scrutiny. While introducing the bill, Deputy CM Sharma claimed that to deal with the syndicates of organised crime, the existing framework of the penal and procedural law and the adjudicatory system were found to be inadequate.
Hence, a special law with stringent and deterrent provisions including attachment of properties, remand process, setting up of special courts and special prosecutors for speedy trials and modern investigation processes, was being presented, said Sharma.
The opposition opposed it vociferously doubting the state government’s intentions to use it to settle the political scores in the state. Calling it draconian, the united opposition rejected it saying that the government was trying to divert attention from real issues by bringing such a law. The Samajwadis blamed the BJP government of having failed in curbing the crime.
Kidnapping or abduction, extortion, murders for extorting money, land grabbing, illegal mining, illegal extraction of forest produce or trade in wildlife, money laundering, human trafficking, spurious liquor manufacturing and trafficking in drugs and purchasing land on forged documents, have been listed under the bill. Death sentence is proposed for those who would indulge in causing loss of life or they could be imprisoned for life and pay a minimum fine of Rs 25 lakh.
Earlier, in Assembly, which passed the bill by voice vote on Thursday, CM Yogi Adityanath sought to allay the fears of the opposition by announcing that his government was contemplating to withdraw around 20,000 criminal cases of political nature registered in the past against activists and leaders irrespective of their political parties.