UP assembly passes UPOCCA amid protest by opposition

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Lucknow, Nov 5(UNI) Amid strong protest by the opposition and a walk-out by the Samajwadi Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and Rashtriya Lok Dal members the Uttar Pradesh Assembly today passed the controversial Uttar Pradesh Organised Crime Control Bill (UPOCCA) in order to nail down the criminals.

Flaying the opposition's allegation of 'political misuse' of the new Act, similar to that of MOACCA of Maharastra, the government claimed that this new law would ensure crime - free and fearless society as promised by Chief Minister Mayawati during the last assembly elections.

Leader of the opposition and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav claimed that this new Act would harass the common Man, besides it was only meant to implicate the opposition leaders in the state.

State parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma made it clear that all riders had been put to prevent any misuse of the Act, besides claiming that people were supporting this new law and the political parties were opposing it only for their personal reasons.

Initiating the debate, BJP member Hukum Singh said 76 amendments had been made so far in the Bill after it was tabled in the House on October 31.

'' Such amendments proves that the government was in a hurry to bring this Bill without any proper drafting,'' he said.

Mr Singh said non-inclusion of terrorism in the Act should that the present BSP government was not concerned about the terrorist activities in the state.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari, opposing the Bill, said the new Act was against the Constitution and it was certain to be challenged in the court.

The House also rejected the proposal of the opposition to send the Bill to a select committee. Later, the House passed the Bill in the absence of SP, BJP and RLD members who staged a noisy walk-out.

Congress members, however, kept sitting.

The new Bill provides capital punishment for the offenders.

The Act would enable the state to counter the organised crime which would cover the entire gamut of group crime activities from terrorism to kidnapping, money laundering, sale of spurious drugs, illegal possession of land, use of violence in getting contracts, indulgence in violence to destablise the government, among others.

UPOCCA will have provisions for the state government to set up State Organsied Crime Control Authority, headed by the state Chief Secreatry, along with Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Law and Order, ADG, Crime and a Special Secretary of the Law Department, as members.

Special courts and appellate courts would be established as per the proposed provisions.

Provision of capital punishment have been incorporated in the new Bill and people harbouring the criminals and giving them protection would also be punished under the new law.


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