Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has informed the Assembly that the recommendations of home department for effectively curbing superstition, practices like sorcery and exorcism, were un-der consideration of Law Reforms Commission.
In a written reply to K.G. Maxi MLA, the Chief Minister said the recommendations were being examined by the commission.
The Kerala Exploitati-on by Superstition (Prevention) Act drafted and proposed by home department, warranted stri-ngent punishment agai-nst those responsible for spreading superstition and putting people’s lives in danger.
The punishment ranges from three years to capital punishment. It may be recalled that the draft bill was prepared couple of years ago, but it remained in the back burner. Karnataka and Maharashtra had passed similar legislations in the past.
The death of three persons due to alleged superstitious practices in 2014 had led to demands for stringent law to curb such illegal activities. The then ADGP (intelligence) A Hemachandran had drafted the bill after reviewing in detail similar laws in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The highlights of the proposed legislation titled Kerala Exploitation by Superstition (Prevention) Act, were three to seven years imprisonment for causing physical or mental injuries and loss of property to any person by way of supernatural or black magic acts, five years imprisonment to life term in case of sexual exploitation committed under the cover of superstition or black magic and capital punishment or life term for death following superstition or black magic.
According to rationalists, sorcery and exorcism are rampant in the state. The death of four members of a family at Vannapuram near Thodupuzha under mysterious circumstances had brought into sharp focus the need to restrict such occult practices. However, many believe that superstitions linked with religious practices cannot be banned unilaterally as it would create confusion.
Such practices can be curbed only by arriving at a consensus and by creating awareness among the people....