Sti­fling Dis­sent

KCR brings in a dra­co­nian law, by­passes courts to pe­nalise of­fend­ers

India Today - - STATES - By Amar­nath K. Menon

On Jan­uary 25, Chief Min­is­ter K. Chan­drashekar Rao en­dorsed a con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sion al­low­ing the Te­lan­gana po­lice to reg­is­ter crim­i­nal cases for ver­bal abuse with­out ju­di­cial sanc­tion, and even when no com­plaint has been filed. The state gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied mis­de­meanours un­der Sec­tion 506 (pun­ish­ment for crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion) and Sec­tion 507 (crim­i­nal in­tim­i­da­tion through anony­mous com­mu­ni­ca­tion) of the In­dian Pe­nal Code as non­bail­able of­fences that can be in­ves­ti­gated with­out the court’s per­mis­sion. Penal­ties un­der both sec­tions in­clude two to seven year jail terms and cash fines. Ex­ist­ing pro­vi­sions that make it manda­tory for po­lice to seek ju­di­cial ap­proval be­fore reg­is­ter­ing cases have been done away with.

Op­po­si­tion lead­ers say the move is de­signed to curb the grow­ing protests KCR faces in the state. “We will not ac­cept this op­pres­sive pol­i­tics and will con­tinue to crit­i­cise and ex­pose ev­ery fail­ure and scam of the TRS (Te­lan­gana Rash­tra Samithi) min­istry,” says Pradesh Congress com­mit­tee pres­i­dent N. Ut­tam Ku­mar Reddy. If this


JUDGE & JURY Te­lan­gana CM K. Chan­drashekar Rao

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