Maharashtra Cabinet on 1 March 2016 approved the Maharashtra Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill, 2016. The bill provides for the prohibition of social boycott of a person or group of persons including their family members by an individual or a group like Caste Panchayat.
Once the bill is approved by the State legislature, Maharashtra will become the first State in the country to enact a law against social boycott.
Features of Maharashtra Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill, 2016
• The social boycott is prohibited and its commission shall be an offence.
• The maximum punishment for social boycotting will be 7 years in prison or fine up to 5 lakh rupees or both.
• The maximum punishment for extending aid in relation to the commission of offence will be 3 years or 3 lakh rupees or both.
• The victim or any member of his family may file a complaint either through the police or directly to the Magistrate.
• To ensure speedy justice, the trial shall be completed within a period of six months from the date of filing of the charge sheet.
• Social Boycott Prohibition Officers will be appointed to detect the commission of offences, to assist the Magistrate and police officers in discharge of their duties under the Act.
• The burden of proving that no offence under this Act have been committed by the accused, shall lie on the accused.
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When: 1 March 2016