The Karnataka government's much-hyped anti-superstition bill to prevent and eradicate "inhuman evil practices" was unanimously passed in the Legislative Assembly.
The Karnataka government's much-hyped anti-superstition bill to prevent and eradicate "inhuman evil practices" was unanimously passed in the Legislative Assembly on Thursday with some minor amendments.
The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017, tabled in the Assembly on Tuesday, states that it intends to protect the common people against "evil" and "sinister" practices.
The bill seeks to combat and eradicate other such inhuman practices propagated and performed in the name of "black magic" by conman with sinister motive of exploiting the common people, thereby destroying the social fabric in the society.
Further, it aims to bring social awakening and awareness in the society and create healthy and safe social environment.
Replying to the debate, Social Justice Minister H Anjaneya said certain minor amendments sought by some members would be made part of the bill.
Practices like 'Mudradharane' by Madhwa Brahmins has been exempted.
As per this practice, 'Mudras' (dyes) usually made of gold or copper are heated on coal fire and stamped on the body.
'Vashikarana', practised in occult science as an act of subjugation or advertising about it in the name of treatment has been banned, following the suggestions made by the members during the debate.
The legislation was earlier proposed as The Evil, Inhuman and Superstitious Practices Prevention Bill.
After omitting the word superstitious, it is now titled The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2017.
Cleared by the government on September 27, the Cabinet had earlier discussed the bill under the title The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill.
It had in July 2016 referred the legislation to a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimmappa, citing that most of the ministers wanted the bill to be studied in detail before coming to any decision.
Anjaneya, explaining the contents of the bill to the House, sought support of members in unanimously passing it with an intention to eradicate all evil practices from the society.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government's intention through this bill was towards eradication of social evils and secure those who are being oppressed in the name of such practices.
"Our intention is not to hurt anyone's sentiments or feelings as being projected. There should be no place for such practices in today's world," he said.
Stating that there were provisions to make any addition or deletion, Law Minister T B Jayachandra had earlier said the bill was similar to the one in Maharashtra.
But the Karnataka bill has 'savings' and 'schedule' categories, which classify the practices that could be tolerated and those that need to be controlled or prohibited.
According to the bill, for removal of doubts, nothing in the Act shall apply with respect to the forms of worship mentioned under the heading 'savings' and they include practices like 'pradakshina', yatras, 'parikramas' performed at religious places, among other normal practices.
It also includes the advice with regard to 'Vastushastra', advice by 'jyothishya' and other astrologers.
Those practices which have been included under the 'schedule' for prohibition are -- performing any inhuman, evil act and black magic in search of precious things, bounty and hidden treasures.
Other practices listed under 16 points for prohibition, include facilitating any person to roll over leaves of leftover food by other persons in any public or religious places or similar practices that violate human dignity.
Also, forcing any person to carry out evil practices such as killing of an animal by biting its neck and coercing any person or persons to perform 'fire walk' at the time of 'jatras' (temple/village fest) and religious festivals have also been included, it added.Stressing the need for educating people about evil practices in the society, Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar said "if we don't educate, then it just becomes another record.