Anti-superstition Bill stalled again in Karnataka

An anti-superstition law proposed by the Congress government in Karnataka since 2013 was stalled once again Wednesday with the state Cabinet deciding to send the Bill for a fresh review by a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Revenue Minister Kagodu Thimappa.
The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman Evil and Aghori Practices and Black Magic Bill, 2016, modelled on the Maharashtra anti-superstition law, has been in the making since 2013 when the Congress came to power and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah asked an expert panel at the National Law School to draft a model law. The Congress has, however, been apprehensive over tabling an anti-superstition Bill since opposition parties like the BJP and some members within the Congress are opposed to the law.
On Wednesday, the Bill which was widely expected to be tabled during the ongoing Monsoon Session of the Assembly came up before the Cabinet for the second time in two weeks. But the Cabinet decided to send the law for a further review to a sub-committee of six senior ministers.
Rationalist outfits in Karnataka have been demanding an anti-superstition law for some time now. The Bill gained currency last year following the murder of rationalist M M Kalburgi in Dharwad in 2015.
After a Cabinet meeting last week, Karnataka’s Law Minister T B Jayachandra had said there were no objections to the Bill but members of the legislature had sought time to study it.
Two earlier drafts of the law were not tabled in the Assembly on account of fear of opposition to the regulation of some of the practices. Some of the proposals opposed by religious leaders and political parties are the banning of practices like the carrying of Swamis in palanquins and worshipping the feet of religious leaders.

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