UP govt to re-table anti-crime UPCOCA bill in assembly

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Lucknow, Feb 8 (UNI) The Uttar Pradesh government today informed the state assembly about the delay on part of the Upper House to pass the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA) legislation and indicated its plans to move a resolution to turn it into an Act, much to the chagrin of the Opposition Samajwadi Party.

State Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma said since the legislation passed by the assembly was pending with the legislative council for over three months, the government was planning to move a resolution again in the assembly to turn the bill into an Act.

The SP members protested the move and termed it as an attempt to interfere with the working of the Upper House. Hukum Singh (BJP) also supported the SP and said the upper house should be allowed to take its time.

Later, SP members staged a walkout of the proceedings of the house.

The state Parliamentary Affairs Minister wondered why some members were worried about the proposed Act as it was aimed at organised crime and not any particular caste or religion.

On November 5, 2007, the assembly had passed the bill. It had been lying with the council since November 6. The council, where the ruling BSP is in a minority, had sent the bill to a select committee twice.

The UPCOCA has been designed on the lines of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), 1999, giving additional powers to the state to curb organised crime.

While introducing the Bill on October 31, 2007, Chief Minister Mayawati had said the proposed legislation would primarily deal with contract killers, kidnappers, gun-totting contractors, hawala traders, enemies of economic structure, fake drug traffickers and liquor mafiosi.

It was passed on November 5 by a voice vote. However, in the Legislative Council where the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is in minority, the Bill could not be passed due to strong opposition from Samajwadi Party. The Bill was sent to the Legislative Council's select committee for consideration on November 6.

As per the rule, the Bill will again be tabled in the Assembly and passed. After that, it will be sent to the Governor for approval. The select committee, which till date has held two meetings, has not yet taken any decision on the Bill.

UNI NAB/MB LS DS1625

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