The Uttar Pradesh Assembly today passed a stringent bill to curb organsied crime and deal strictly with those trying to foment terror, even as the Opposition members staged a walkout alleging that it was a "draconian" legislation.
The Uttar Pradesh Assembly today passed a stringent bill to curb organsied crime and deal strictly with those trying to foment terror, even as the Opposition members staged a walkout alleging that it was a “draconian” legislation. The Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Bill (UPCOCB) had to be re-introduced in the assembly today as it could not be passed in the Legislative Council, where the ruling BJP is in minority, after being cleared by the Lower House earlier this month. The proposed legislation on the lines of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) seeks to curb organsied crime and deal strictly with those trying to foment terror or dislodge the government forcibly or through violent means.
The UPCOC Bill, 2017, also seeks to act sternly against those using explosives or firearms or any other violent means or damaging life and property or involved in anti-national or destructive activities. Piloting the bill for discussion, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath justified the measure to put a halt to crime in a vast state like Uttar Pradesh. In course of the discussion, Leader of the Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary voiced concern that the measure could be misused by a ruling dispensation against political opponents. Chaudhary (Samajwadi Party) also cited crime data to claim that the law and order had deteriorated during the BJP government in the state.
Lalji Verma (BSP) dubbed the measure as anti-democratic and expressed the fear that it might be misused to settle political scores and even journalists could be trapped in the new law to gag the freedom of press. Ajay Kumar Lallu (Cong) termed the proposed legislation as draconian and demanded it be referred to the select committee of the House for scrutiny.
The opposition members alleged that the bill has been brought to crush the voice of politicians, farmers, social workers and journalists and said it was against the constitutional right of freedom of expression. Later, the entire opposition staged a walkout terming the bill as a “black law”.
In the absence of the opposition, the House passed the bill by voice vote after the chief minister highlighted its salient features and sought to allay the apprehensions of the opposition parties that the new law could be misused against them.