Panel headed by Chief Secretary to scrutinise draft Act on September 10
The draft Kerala Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA), which was inspired by the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, has come under scanner.
A panel headed by Chief Secretary V.P. Joy will scrutinise the draft Act on September 10.
The proposed Act, which was mooted by former State Police Chief Lokanath Behera, aims to curb all ‘organised’ and ‘continuing crimes’. Though the Act has its genesis in the Maharashtra legislation, it has been tweaked to suit the Kerala situations, sources claimed.
Organised crime has been defined as any continuing unlawful activity committed by an individual, singly or jointly, either as a member of an organised crime syndicate or on behalf of such a syndicate.
The Act comes into play when an organised crime is committed using violence, threat of violence, intimidation, coercion or other unlawful means for gaining pecuniary benefits or undue economic or other advantages for himself or for any other person or for promoting insurgency.
An organised crime syndicate is a group of two or more persons, who act either singly or collectively as a syndicate or a gang and indulge in organised crimes, notes the draft.
Death sentence or imprisonment for life and a minimum fine of ₹1 lakh can be awarded if the offence results in the death of people. For all other cases, the Act suggests a minimum imprisonment for five years and fine of ₹2 lakh.
The conspirators and those who attempt to commit such crimes and those who harbours, conceals or attempts to harbour or conceal any member of the organised crime shall be awarded a minimum imprisonment for five years and a fine of ₹5 lakh.
The Act empowers the police to attach the property of the accused during the course of investigation. Currently, it’s extremely difficult to attach the properties of the accused during the investigation, sources indicated.
Incidentally, the previous LDF government had to withdraw the amendments to the Kerala Police Act after widespread criticisms that it provided unfettered powers to police to curtail free speech and media freedom.
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