Assam passes Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015

Assam state legislature has passed Assam Witch Hunting (Prohibition, Prevention and Protection) Bill, 2015.

This law was prepared in order to reign in the rising incidents of witch hunting cases across the state. It was prepared in lines with the spirit of universal declaration of human rights, crimes in witch hunting cases cause gross violation of basic human rights.

Key features of Bill

  • It aims to eliminate the superstition from society by making such offences under the Act as non-bailable, non-compoundable and cognizable.
  • Prohibit any person from calling, identifying or defaming any other person as witch by words, signs, conducts or indications.
  • Stringent Punishment: If anybody found guilty, the act imposes up to 7 years of jail and fine up to 5 lakh rupees. This provision will come as per Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • Proposes sentence of 3 years imprisonment if anybody blames a person for natural disasters in a particular locality such as floods, droughts, illness or any death.
  • Special Courts: Special courts will be set up in consultation with the high court for trial of such offences.

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