Fraudsters exploit absence of strong law in Telangana
Telangana lacks a strong law like the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Abhorrent Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013.
Most cases of sorcery in Hyderabad are booked under cheating, public nuisance etc. Another weak rule police included in the cases is the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954.
Most legal experts consider this outdated when it comes to sorcery.
“This law prohibits the advertising of drugs and remedies for causing miscarriage or preventing conception in women or for sexual pleasure, diagnosing or preventing any disease etc. However, when it comes to black magic practiced by sorcerers
Most cases of sorcery in Hyderabad are booked under cheating, public nuisance etc. Another weak rule police included is the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954
this Act cannot deliver justice,” said Gulam Rabbani, a human rights lawyer of the city.
The conviction rate under this law is very less in Hyderabad and other areas of Telangana state.
Even if a fraudster is convicted in a case he will have to pay a penalty and face a maximum sentence of only six months imprisonment with or without fine on first conviction.
In case of subsequent conviction the term may be go up to a year, experts say.
“The problem with Drugs and Magic Remedies Act is that it does not cover real offenses. Police generally try to substitute with IPC sections for cheating etc, which is not effective,” said another prominent lawyer.
Lawyers say the Black Magic Act of Maharashtra is more effective. If convicted at the minimum the culprit will have to face a sentence of six months or a maximum sentence of seven years, including a fine ranging from `5,000 to `50,000. The offences are non-bailable and cognizable.
“A strict law is needed in Telangana as many people are duped by sorcerers. In Maharashtra the new Act came into existence after widespread debate following the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. Sadly, there are no debates on fake babas and sorcerers in our state,” said Rabbani.