The Uttar Pradesh government is trying its best to bring in a new draconian law, the Uttar Pradesh Control of Organized Crime Act (UPCOCA) 2017. In the December 2017 session of the state assembly (vidhan sabha) the government introduced the Bill and passed it through a voice vote without any debate. At present, the Bill has passed from the state assembly to the legislative council (vidhan parishad), and has been referred to a Select Committee. If the Bill is passed by the legislative council, it will go to the President for approval. The manner in which the Bill was hurried through by the UP government clearly shows that it does not want to put this up for discussion.
The Bill was drawn on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act.
There are several provisions in the Bill which prescribe long period of incarceration before trial, continued term in jail post acquittal, extended period under police remand and denial of anticipatory bail. Under this law, there is even a provision for extension of punishment for a person already convicted in another case. All of this provides ample scope for gross violation of human rights by the police and jail officials.
The various governments always justify such laws saying that they are necessary to curb “criminal”, “anti-national”, “terrorist” activities, etc. Actually in every instance such laws are used to crush people’s struggles. We must unitedly oppose all such steps irrespective of which party we belong to and stand in defence of human and political rights of