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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

‘Amend anti-superstition bill before winter session’: Maharashtra opposition

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai: Mahara, November 21, 2013
First Published: 08:46 IST(21/11/2013) | Last Updated: 08:51 IST(21/11/2013)

The state opposition said that it is still opposed to certain sections of the anti-superstition and black magic bill and will want the government to bring it in an amended form in the winter session that kicks off at Nagpur on December 9, 2013.

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The government has already promulgated an ordinance for the bill which will need to get a nod in the upcoming session to come into force.

The bill assumes importance in the light of the murder of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar who was shot dead two months ago in Pune. Dabholkar founded the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) and was the force behind the bill.

“We want the bill to be cleared but certainly not in the present form. There are sections where things need to be defined and clear. Until that is done, we will not accept it,” said Sena leader Subhash Desai after the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting that took place on Wednesday.

The BAC, which decides the duration and work to be incorporated during a session has fixed a 2-week work agenda for now.

“Apart from amendments in the bill, that all three parties – the BJP, Sena and MNS – have demanded, we have also asked for a 4-week session as opposed to the 2-week one because we want topics to be discussed elaborately,” said BJP legislator Girish Bapat, who was a part of the meeting.

According to Desai, there is no clear mechanism mentioned on how third party complaints will be dealt with.

“This, we feel, allows for blackmail and settlement which is not the intention of the bill,” he said.

BJP leader of opposition Vinod Tawde added that there was vagueness in the definitions of two concepts in the bill.

“One is the word ‘chamatkar’ and the other is ‘indreeya shakti’.

They need to be defined properly. T his i s because what is a chamatkar (magic) for one person is not for the other,” he added.


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