The State Government of Maharashtra on 21 August 2013 adopted an Anti-Black Magic and Superstition Ordinance. The ordinance was adopted by the state cabinet after the death of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar. The decision was taken by the cabinet in wake up of the protests that followed after the murder of Dabhokar in Pune on 20 August 2013.
The ordinance was signed by the Prithviraj Chavan, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and forwarded to the Governor K Sankaranarayanan, for further approval. The ordinance once passed will replace the draft Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2011, which is pending before the state assembly, ever since it was introduced on 10 August 2011.
Features of the Black Magic Law
• The Black Magic Law prohibits the practice, promotion and propagation of human sacrifice, other inhuman, evil and Aghori practices and black magic, unauthorized, illegal practices of medicine or healing or curing by quacks, conmen etc.
• The law mentions an imprisonment term of six months that can be extended up to seven years along with a fine amount that ranges between 5000 rupees and 50000 rupees in cases of such practices, as the law considers it as a punishable and non-bailable offence.
• A vigilance officer with powers of detection and prevention of contravention, evidence collection, as well as can conduct search raid and prosecution will monitor the implementation of the law.
Black Magic Constitutes
• Giving chilli smoke
• Beating a person by stick
• Forcing him to perform sexual acts
• Display miracles to cheat
• Create impression that divine spirit has possessed a person
• Parading a person naked in the name of jaran-maran
About Narendra Dabholkar
• Narendra Dabholkar drafted the Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Bill
• He was the founder President of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (Committee for the Eradication of Blind Faith) that criticized the superstition
• He was a doctor by profession
When: 21 August 2013