HC: Con­sider mak­ing law on chain snatch­ing stricter

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY -

New Delhi: Ex­press­ing con­cern over the “se­ri­ous prob­lem” of chain snatch­ing, Delhi high court on Tues­day sought to know if the AAP gov­ern­ment plans to amend the law to make it more strin­gent. While hear­ing a PIL on the is­sue, a bench of act­ing Chief Jus­tice Gita Mit­tal and Jus­tice C Hari Shankar asked for a sta­tus re­port within three weeks from the gov­ern­ment de­tail­ing its pro­posal on deal­ing with the prob­lem.

HC said the gov­ern­ment must ex­am­ine the pe­nal pro­vi­sions so that pun­ish­ment for snatch­ing be­comes more strin­gent and is­sued no­tice to the po­lice and civic bod­ies. The PIL filed by ad­vo­cate Prashant Man­chanda also high­lighted the ab­sence of se­cu­rity in the city parks owned and op­er­ated by var­i­ous civic agen­cies, say­ing these had be­come crime “hubs” as the crim­i­nals fre­quented these places due to lack of vig­i­lance.

Man­chanda claimed that chain snatch­ings in the city have seen a six-fold rise. “On an av­er­age, there are 25 snatch­ing cases ev­ery day in Delhi due to ab­sence of ef­fec­tive laws and in­dif­fer­ence of the po­lice, which books the of­fen- ders un­der triv­ial pro­vi­sions of theft in­stead of rob­bery or da­coity, even though weapons are used to com­mit such crimes,” the pe­ti­tion said.

The pe­ti­tioner in­formed HC that al­ready Haryana has made in­clu­sions in IPC to make it harsher against snatch­ings. As per the amended sec­tions 379A and 379B in the IPC, the of­fence of snatch­ing en­tails a pun­ish­ment rang­ing from five to 14 years with a fine, as against the max­i­mum of three years un­der Sec­tion 379 in the neigh­bour­ing state.

The gov­ern­ment said that an amend­ment was un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

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