IN AN attempt to curb the growing menace of snatching incidents in Chandigarh, the UT Police has proposed to make legal action stricter on the pattern of Haryana and Punjab Police. A proposal to apply sections 379-A and 356-B of the IPC instead of sections 379 and 356 of the IPC, which currently apply in snatching cases in Chandigarh, was recently sent to the Chandigarh Administration for consideration. The administration has forwarded the proposal to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
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Sections 379 (theft) and 356 (criminal force in attempt to commit theft) contain the maximum punishment of three years along with fine. Contrary to it, sections 379-A and 356-B of the IPC under which cases of snatching are registered in Haryana and Punjab, contain rigorous punishment of not less than 10 years, which may extend to 14 years, with a fine of Rs 25,000. The neighbouring states had made the amendments in 2015.
DGP (UT) Tajender Singh Luthra says, “The move was made to curb the increasing cases of snatching in Chandigarh. The local administration has forwarded the matter to MHA. There are also several other legal patterns of Punjab and Haryana, which are being followed by Chandigarh Police.”
A draft proposal was prepared by former SP (city) Navdeep Singh Brar. Chandigarh has witnessed a total of 42 snatching cases, especially with senior citizens, in the last two months, putting a question mark on the efficiency of the Chandigarh Police.
Sources in the police headquarters say, “There are two ways to adopt this proposal. First, the local administration decides to follow the pattern of Punjab Police. Second, after getting approval from Ministry of Home Affairs, a fresh notification may be issued making the amendments in sections 379 and 356 of IPC.”
District Attorney Manu Kakkar says, “In the cases of repeated offenders, we apply Section 413 of IPC, which contains imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine.”
In June 2016, the Chandigarh Administration adopted the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007, replacing the earlier followed The West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1976. Sources in the Crime Branch say, “There are a number of snatchers who are repeated offenders. Some of the repeated offenders include Vicky, Nadeem Mohammed, Sanjay, Manoj, Jony and Billa.”
42 snatchings this year so far
In 2015, a total of 159 snatching incidents were reported in Chandigarh. In 2016, a total of 160 incidents were reported. A total of 42 snatching incidents have been reported till March 10 this year. In view of the cracking of cases and recovery of snatched valuables, the performance of Chandigarh Police was better in 2016 than 2015. In 2015, a total of 89 cases out of 159 were untraced and in 2016, the police managed to solve 92 cases out of 160.