Updated: December 14, 2017 3:47:42 am
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday cleared a draft Bill that will allow the government to attach “illegal” property of those booked under it.
The Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Bill, 2017, will be tabled in the winter session beginning December 14.
The Opposition has claimed that it could be misused against politicians and student leaders, and said the Bill will be opposed whenever it is tabled in the House.
The proposed law will allow for tough action against criminal elements, government spokesperson and state Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said.
Those found involved in extortion, kidnapping for ransom, illegal mining, manufacturing or sale of fake drugs, and encroachment or trespassing in an organised manner will come under the ambit of the proposed law.
Sharma said the proposal to attach “illegal” property was to prevent accused from taking advantage of it during the course of investigation
The government maintained that the proposed law requires approval from multiple authorities to prevent misuse. It said property can be attached only with permission from the court concerned. Cases can be registered under it only with approval from a two-member committee comprising the Divisional Commissioner and a DIG-rank officer of the region concerned. Chargesheet too can be submitted only after taking the approval from the zonal Inspector General of Police concerned. A special court will hear such cases.
An Organised Crime Control Authority, chaired by the state’s Principal Secretary (Home) at the state-level and district magistrate at the district-level, will monitor cases under the proposed law. This authority will also hear appeals against registering cases under it. Another appelate body, headed by a retired judge, will hear appeals against the authority’s order, the Bill says.
Once passed, those booked under it will be unable to get any government security.
The Opposition said there are already enough laws to deal with organised crime in the state.
Samajwadi Party’s Ram Govind Chaudhary, the Leader of the Opposition in Assembly, said: “We will oppose it the day it is placed in the Assembly because there are existing laws for different organised crimes such as Gangsters Act, and provision for murder and organised loot under IPC or Goonda Act. What we fear is that considering the undeclared emergency imposed by the BJP government, it would be used against politicians the ruling party wants to target.”
Chaudhary alleged that the Goonda Act and other provisions are being “misused against student leaders and politicians, who raise their voice against the government”. He said, “We fear that once this becomes an Act, this too would will be misused.”
Minister Sharma, however, rejected this and said the Bill contains 28 provisions not included in other laws on crime in the state. “Yogi (Adityanath) sarkar mein aparadhiyon ko koi sanrakshan nahi hoga (The government will not tolerate criminals)… The purpose would be control organised crime… During formulation of the draft Bill, we had studied similar laws of other states too” he said.
In 2007, the Mayawati government had proposed a law on the lines of stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. The Bill, passed by both Houses, was forwarded to the President for approval but was later withdrawn on the contention that it was no longer needed since crime was under control.
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