Madhya Pradesh Gangsters bill to be tabled in winter session

Madhya Pradesh government will introduce MP Gangsters and Anti-social activities Prevention Bill 2021 this winter session of the legislative assembly, said home minister Narottam Mishra
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. (File photo)
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. (File photo)
Updated on Dec 19, 2021 03:47 PM IST
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Madhya Pradesh government will introduce MP Gangsters and Anti-social activities Prevention Bill 2021 this winter session of the legislative assembly, said home minister Narottam Mishra.

Talking to HT, Mishra said Gangsters Bill will soon be approved by the cabinet and will be tabled in this winter session only and it will weed out mafias from Madhya Pradesh.

The winter session is scheduled to be held from December 20 to 24. After Uttar Pradesh, MP will be the second state to have this bill. Recently, the MP cabinet also approved the prevention of damage of public and private property bill on Thursday.

MP home department completed the draft which has a special provision of urging the court for custody of an accused up to two months, said an official of the home department.

This bill will be implemented on organized criminals including mining mafia, land mafia, illicit liquor sellers, fake medicines sellers, human trafficking gangs, drug peddlers, adulteration in food products, illegal arms manufacturers and others. Police will invoke the bill in all the organized crimes which have more than two accused,” said the officer.

“The bill will empower district collectors to inquire the matter of assets of the accused and if it is found disproportionate, they will have a right to seize it. The accused will have to prove the legal way of earning,” he added.

The cases will be heard in a special court so that the hearing could be completed timely. There will also be provisions for the safety and security of eyewitnesses.

Home department’s additional chief secretary Rajesh Rajora said, “The draft is being discussed and will be formalized soon.”

Retired IPS officer Shailendra Shrivastava said, “This was not the first time when the provision of police remand for up to two months is going to be introduced. Earlier, it was introduced under Terrorists and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).”

“This is a very necessary provision because it is very tough for police to interrogate hardcore criminals. According to law, as of now, there is a provision of maximum remand of 15 days but that is not enough to complete the interrogation,” he added.

However, legal experts and human rights activists raised objections and said the act can be misused by the state government.

Former advocate general Ravi Nandan Singh said, “What is the definition of a gangster and who will decide who is a gangster? There is a possibility that the act can be misused and stringent provisions like POTA and TADA will definitely upset the people of MP. It will also create problems for the government legally as how will they prove that the accused was a threat for humankind?”

Human rights activist M Seema said, “MP government is copying UP in every law but they should understand that crime in MP is different than UP. I don’t know why the government need an extra law to control the crime. They should reinforce the existing law to stop mafias because these laws only violate human rights as we have seen in TADA and POTA. To keep a person in police custody just on the basis of suspicion that he is mafia will surely violate human rights.”

The opposition leaders said this act is nothing but a copy of the UP government.

“This act will prove the failure of the BJP-led state government in maintaining law and order in MP. Barring 15 months, BJP is leading the state and they allowed mafias to grow to such extent that now BJP-state government needs a separate law to deal with them, said PC Sharma, Congress MLA.

However, BJP leaders said this law will bring peace to the state and will terrorise anti-social elements. “This law is against the anti-social elements, mafia and to maintain peace and harmony in the state, save the lives of people. The opposition leaders have made a habit to oppose everything without understanding the consequences and that’s why the Congress party is losing its trust among people,” said Rajneesh Agrawal, spokesperson, BJP.

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    She is a senior reporter based at Bhopal. She covers higher education, social issues, youth affairs, woman and child development related issues, sports and business & industries.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2022