KARNATAKA GOVERNMENT NOTIFIES ANTI-SUPERSTITION ACT
Context: The State government has notified the Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Act, 2017 Act.
The Social Welfare Department, which is the nodal department, has formally notified the Act and it came into effect from January 4, 2020.
PRACTICES BANNED IN THE LAW
- The law bans several practices, including facilitating any person or persons to roll over leaves on which others have partaken food in any public or religious place or similar practices that violate human dignity (made snana)
- Coercing any person to perform firewalk at the time of jatras/religious festivals, causing physical injury
- Practice of piercing rods from one side of jaw to the other, including the tongue, (baibigapractice)
- Pelting stones in the name of banamati
- Mata –mantra on residential houses during night or day.
KEY PROVISIONS OF THE LAW
- According to rules that have been issued, the government will take up programmes to create awareness among citizens about the “ill effects of the inhuman evil practices and black magic” apart from providing medical relief to persons injured because of superstitious acts.
- Vigilance officers will be appointed to monitor implementation of the law and they will be assisted by the police
- Persons who obstruct the discharge of duties of the vigilance officers would face imprisonment for not less than three months or a fine of up to 5,000 or both.
- The Act states that a half-yearly review will be done to check the status of the implementation of the law and the State police chief is expected to submit district-wise details on cases that have been filed.