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Privilege notice against minister over anti-superstition bill

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 16:32

Mumbai: Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse on Tuesday moved a breach of privilege notice against a senior state minister, alleging that the House was not taken into confidence while incorporating certain changes in the anti-superstition bill.

"Minister for social justice Shivajirao Moghe, without taking the House into confidence, sought to modify the bill, with the help of Shyam Manav (an activist of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, an organisation working to eradicate superstition)," Khadse said.

"I feel both Moghe and Manav have indulged in breach of privilege of the House and hence, I am submitting the notice against them," Khadse said.

"The minister has announced that the modified bill would be introduced in the ongoing monsoon session of state Legislature. By doing this, he and Manav have challenged the privilege of the House," the senior BJP leader said.

Speaker Dilip Walse Patil informed the members that he would give a ruling on Khadse`s notice later. "Under the principles of natural justice, it is appropriate that the minister is allowed to explain his action first," he said.

The MANS has been championing the "Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill" for a long time.

The bill proposes imprisonment up to seven years for those indulging in black magic and evil practices. The government has proposed making advertisement, practice, propagation and promotion of such acts non-bailable offences.

The legislation will also cover quacks (tantriks and unregistered medics) propagating black magic and other dubious practices as cures for ailments.

Those who claim to be godmen with powers to conduct surgeries just with their fingers or who use `tantra-mantra` to cure snake and dog bites and more serious illnesses will be punishable under the law.

First Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 14:35

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