Maharashtra social justice minister Shivajirao Moghe on Wednesday introduced the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and other Inhuman, Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic bill 2013 in the State legislative assembly.
The bill, commonly known as the Anti-Superstition Bill, was promulgated as an ordinance on August 24, four days after the assassination of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.
The bill was drafted by Dr. Dabholkar and the Blind Faith Eradication Committee headed by him in 1990, but due to opposition from the Warkari sect, some religious groups and opposition parties in Maharashtra, the bill could not be passed.
Calling some provisions of the bill “ambiguous,” BJP State president Devendra Fadnavis said that many provisions in the bill were similar to that of the Indian Penal Code.
“The government is rushing this bill in the garb of progressiveness. The bill should be sent to the select committee with a time-bound programme. This bill will be complete and comprehensive only if the government includes all the amendments proposed by the opposition,” claimed Mr. Fadnavis.
Accusing some elements of spreading rumours regarding the bill, NCP leader Nawab Malik said the bill was not “anti-Hindu or Anti-Muslim” as had been rumoured.
Shiv Sena leader Shubhash Desai objected to some provisions of the bill and said his party would oppose it in its present form.