The Uttar Pradesh Government on 13 December 2017 approved the draft of Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) to fight land mafia, mining mafia and organised crime in the state.
The UPCOCA Bill was approved in a meeting of the state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The bill is expected to be introduced in the winter session of the state legislature.
The Bill has been framed on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) by the committee which was set up to examine the draft bill.
The draft was prepared in consultation with the State law department to check organised and white-collar crime and mafias. There are 28 provisions in the draft bill which are not present in the existing state Gangsters Act.
Provisions of the UPCOCA Bill
• Kidnapping for ransom, illegal mining, manufacturing illicit liquor and its sale, acquiring contracts on the basis of muscle power, organised exploitation of forest produce, trade in wildlife, fake medicines, grabbing of government and private properties, and extortion will come under the ambit of the new law.
• The cases under the Bill will be filed only on the recommendations of the committee of Divisional Commissioner and Deputy Inspector General of Police.
• The permission of the Zonal Inspector General of Police will be required before filing of charge sheet after thorough inquiry.
• The properties acquired through organised crime will be taken over by the state government with the permission of the court during the course of investigation to forbid criminals from taking advantage of it.
• Special courts will be constituted for hearing of cases lodged under the provisions of this bill.
• A State-Level Organised Crime Control Authority has been proposed to monitor gangs involved in organised crime. The state level authority will be headed by the principal secretary of Home Affairs.
• There is also a provision to form district level organised crime control authorities, which will be led by district magistrates. They can recommend cases to the state level authority after thorough probe.
• It proposes the formation of a tribunal led by a retired High Court Judge for appealing against the Bill, and will have a principal secretary and an official of DGP rank as its members.
• Those found involved in organised crime will no longer be offered government protection and all white-collar criminals will be treated as such.
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When: 13 December 2017
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