Maharashtra under pressure, to tweak draft of internal security Act

The govt. will incorporate three changes before draft is presented to State Cabinet

The Maharashtra government has decided to tweak the newly-drafted Maharashtra Protection of Internal Security Act following public outcry over its contentious clauses.

Three changes

Officials said the government will incorporate three changes: reduction in punishment from the current three years to half, increase in restrictions on public assembly to 2,500 from the proposed 100, and including a clause defining that the draft of the Act will not be applicable on private functions such as marriages and parties. The changes will be made before the draft is presented to the State Cabinet.

“We have taken a serious note of the objections raised by the civil society and members of the public,” said a senior official of the State Home Department.

The Act was introduced earlier this month with an emphasis on ‘maintaining law and order, combating terrorism, insurgency, caste violence, communalism, and bringing nuclear reactors, dams, major projects and coastal areas under its ambit’.

Arbitrary power

But, the State was forced to withdraw the draft in the face of protests over clauses allowing the police’s arbitrary power to interfere in public gatherings and carry out security checks in public places. The draft also defines critical infrastructure sectors and proposes setting up of special security zones where movement of arms, explosives and inflow of unaccounted funds will be prohibited.

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2020 7:15:09 AM |

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