TODAY -

Jail for bandh and blockade initiators, fine upto Rs 1 lakh
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, December 20 2011: The House Committee on Private Members report on Manipur Bandh, Blockade and Economic Blockade (Prevention) Bill, 2011 which empowers the state government to put the blockade initiators to a three years imprisonment and a fine upto Rs 1 lakh was presented before the House today.

The House Committee report was presented today on the floor of the house to prevent and control commission of offence of bandh and economic blockade in the state, after the Private Members Resolution was moved by MLA O Joy, MLA Dr I Ibohalbi, MLA Ng Bijoy and MLA RK Anand in 2010 to bring out a law which prohibits the initiation of bandhs and blockades in the state.

The Private Member Resolution was discussed minutely by a seven member House Committee chaired by Th Devendra, Minister, Law and Legislative Affairs and was finally presented before the House today.

According to the report presented, a group of persons or any organization registered or unregistered, calling and making, by written or oral publicity or through media, directing or causing the public, barring or prohibiting them to come out of their respective houses to carry on their normal works, commits the offence of "Bandh" .

While a person or a group of persons or any organization registered creates or attempts to breach the public peace or causes large scale disturbance of general current of public life, commits "Blockade".

And a person or a group of persons or any organization prohibiting the movement of manufactured or transportation of goods and economic items including essential commodities from one place to another within the state or from the state to other states or vice versa in the name of demand of any kind against any person, organization or the government, commits the offence of "Economic Blockade" .

As for the punishment for the commitment of the offence of bandh, blockade and economic blockade, the report proposed for an imprisonment term not less than one year and extendable to three years along with a fine of Rs 15,000 to 1 lakh.

The defaulter will be liable to undergo further imprisonment of six months.

Constitution of Special Court for the purpose of the speedy trial is also proposed in the report.

The state government with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court through notification in the Official Gazette can specify a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try the offences under the Act.

It further says that no person accused of an offence punishable under the Act can be released on bail or on his own bond unless the Public Prosecutor was given an opportunity to oppose the application for such release and unless he opposes the application.

Stating the object and reasons for the submission of the Manipur Bandh, Blockade and Economic Blockade (Prevention) Bill before the House, the report said that bandhs, blockades and economic blockades called by certain organization in the state in the recent past have affected the normal life, public and individual property and the State economy in various ways resulting even to the loss of life.

The Supreme Court of India has also declared bandh as illegal and unconstitutional.

Members of all organizations including political parties are liable to be prosecuted for criminal offences and they are also liable for all the damages caused out of such bandhs, blockades and economic blockades.


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