Fraud­sters ex­ploit ab­sence of strong law in Te­lan­gana

Deccan Chronicle - - CRIME - DC COR­RE­SPON­DENT HY­DER­ABAD, MARCH 26

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.

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