In December 2013, Maharashtra passed The Black Magic Prevention and Prohibition of Exploiting Practices Bill. Following its example, the Karnataka Cabinet cleared the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill in September 2017.
On November 14, H Anjaneya, the Minister For Social Welfare, tabled this Bill in the assembly. Once passed, the Bill will become the second such initiative in the country.
“The consent of the victim cannot be used as a defence for the list of offences committed by a person,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister TB Jayachandra was quoted as saying by The News Minute.
“It will be a cognisable and non-bailable offence.”
A metropolitan magistrate or judicial magistrate of first class shall try offences punishable under the Act. The Bill proposes the appointment of vigilance officers to take steps to prevent such practices and monitor violation of the provisions of the Act. Any person who propagates, practices or causes to promote any inhuman, evil practices and black magic in violation of the rules, is liable for imprisonment not less than three months and a fine up to ₹ 5,000 or both.
As per the Bill, several other regressive practices including human sacrifice, coercing a person to perform fire-walk at religious festivals, and claiming to change the sex of the foetus in the womb, are banned. It also seeks to prohibit practices against women such as forcing them to stay in isolation, subjecting them to inhuman and humiliating practices such as parading them naked in the name of worship and sexual exploitation by invoking supernatural powers, as reported in The Hindu.
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