Mumbai: The self-styled spiritual leader Radhe Maa, accused of domestic violence and dowry harassment, may now be booked under the black magic law.
According to a report by The Times of India, the present charge against the controversial godwoman under Section 498A in Indian Penal Code may not stand in court.
Indian Penal Code 498A is a criminal law (not a civil law), which is applicable in cases where the complainant is a married and is subjected to cruelty by her husband or a relative of her husband. Notably, Radhe Maa is neither.
Last week, a 32-year-old woman had filed a complaint of domestic violence and dowry harassment against her in-laws and Radhe Maa. She alleged that the 'godwoman' instigated her in-laws, who have been her followers for last several years.
According to lawyers, the dowry complaint against Radhe Maa is indefensible. "Her role (in the case) would have to be defined very clearly. The police will have to make a strong case for it to stand in court," the daily quoted Kranti Sathe, a family court lawyer, as saying.
Meanwhile, a new complaint was yesterday filed at the suburban Borivali police station against Radhe Maa alleging her involvement in promoting superstition.
Advocate Ashok Rajput, who filed the complaint, has demanded that Radhe Maa should be booked under the stringent Anti-Superstition Law not only for spreading superstition but also for practising "indecent behaviour".
Mumbai Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said that the police had received the complaint against Radhe Maa and is looking into it.
"We are going into the merits of the complaint. Any further action would be taken only after enquiry and legal considerations," Kulkarni said, adding that sections of the Anti-Superstition Act would be invoked only after proper circumstantial evidence is found.
The Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act, 2013 was promulgated by the Maharashtra government to curb superstitious practices, claiming magical or miraculous remedies or powers.
(With PTI inputs)