Shocked by the purported human sacrifice of two women in Pathanamthitta, the Kerala government has decided to dust off the draft legislation prepared by the Kerala Law Reforms Commission to curb inhuman and evil practices.
The government may either opt for an ordinance or a legislation on the floor of the Assembly to take forward the Kerala Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices, Sorcery and Black Magic Bill 2019, which was drafted by the commission.
Senior functionaries of the Home and Law departments and the Kerala Law Reforms Commission will soon vet the draft Bill to come up with recommendations to fine-tune it. The draft Bill had been lying with the State departments for some time.
With the grim memories of the heavy electoral backlash it suffered during the Sabarimala Temple women entry issue fresh in its mind, the CPI(M)-led State government is likely to tread a careful path regarding the proposed Bill as it borders several religious practices that are widely followed in the State, according to sources.
The government hopes to bring out a legislation to curb evil practices without affecting the religious practices prevalent in the State. The government may also opt for a wider public consultation regarding the draft Bill before enacting it, considering the social sensitivity of the issue, the sources added.
The finalisation of the Schedule of the Bill, which has listed the inhuman, evil and sinister practices, sorcery and black magic, would pose a real challenge to the government as the inclusion or exclusion of some practices could invite terse response from powerful socio-religious groups and civil society organisations.
The draft Bill has included 10 practices which the Law Commission deemed fit to be curbed through the legislation. It also authorises the State government to amend or alter the Schedule through a notification published in the Official Gazette, sources pointed out.