Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on 13 April 2016 unanimously approved the Prohibition of Social Boycott Bill, 2016. The bill seeks to crack down on extra-judicial bodies like caste and community panchayats.
The bill will be sent for Governor's assent to enact the Law.Maharashtra will be the first state in the country to enact a law against social boycott.
Features of the Bill
• In this bill, Indulging in social boycott is treated as a crime.
• The bill provides for prohibition of social boycott of a person or group of persons, including their family members as an individual or as a group like caste panchayat.
• The bill states that social boycott is prohibited and its commission shall be an offence.
• The maximum punishment for the offence will be seven years in prison or fine up to 5 lakh rupees or both.
• It also states that maximum punishment for extending aid in relation to the commission of offence will be three years or 3 lakh rupees or both.
• As per the bill, the victim or any member of the victim's 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, shall lie on the accused.
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When: 13 April 2016