How Does the Act Seeks to Prevent Social Boycott?

To understand that how does the Social Boycott Act can prevent Social Boycott we must first understand what the term “Social Boycott” means.

Social Boycott:

Any decision by a person or group of people having assumed or inherent control over the lives of any person belonging to a community, caste, believe or anything different than the ones following it there, declaring one or more person or a family or families be boycotted by the Community by a whole is called Social Boycott.

India for many years has been facing a lot of problems, like Child Labor, honor killing, discrimination on the basis of caste, sex, race, and the last but not the least Social Boycott. People from ancient times believed in the concept of the upper class and the lower class. Today we imagine India as a modern country with modern minds, but it is not. Social Boycott is the major problem that India faced. It is a collective refusal by the people of the society to involve a person or a family in the commercial or social relations. Declaring Social Boycott, a crime, Maharashtra has become the first Indian State to introduce Judicial Courts and Caste panchayat from committing atrocities. The bill of Social Boycott was Cleared by the state legislature and forwarded by the Central Government to the president for his assent. There was a very famous case in Maharashtrians raged a wife wears a jean than all the people (society) boycott her. This was against the freedom of right. If any individual or group tries to prevent or abstract another member from observing any social or religious custom as usage or ceremony from taking part in a religious or social or community function, assembly meeting, or possession the act amount of social boycott it also includes challenging the freedom of the individual.

The Prevention:

Discrimination on the basis of morality and sexuality also qualifies social boycott it includes stopping children from playing in a particular space. Disallowing access to community Halls or education institutions this social boycott made to stop all this. This act seeks to prevent social boycott by a Collector or District Magistrate, on receiving information of the likelihood of unlawful assembly for the imposition of social boycott, the collector can issue an order prohibiting the assembly. The offence is cognizable and bailable and will be tried by a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class. The offense will attract prison term up to 3 years or a fine up to Rs 1 Lakh or both. To ensure speedy justice, the trial would have to be completed within a period of six months from the date of filing the charge sheet. This Act also has a provision to withdraw cases with the consent of the victim and permission from a court. Under the act, members of Extra-Judicial bodies like caste and community councils issuing decrees for social boycott can be punished with imprisonment up to 7 years and or a fine of up to 5 lakhs. The provisions include compensation to victims if a caste council imposed monetary penalties on them. An official would be appointed to go into complaints of social boycott, which would include preventing a person from participating in social and religious programs, festivals, processions rallies and from using common institutions like schools, clubhouses, and medical facilities. Those who support decrees issued by caste panchayats would also be treated as accused. It felt necessary to have such a law in Maharashtra because the reaction to pressure from growing incidents of the largest number of cases of Social Boycott was provoked by inter-caste marriages at societies on individuals by Jati Panchayats or gawkish wielding extra-judicial powers. The New Act facilitates the framing of charges under IPC sections 34[1], 120 – A[2], 120 – B[3], 153 – A[4], 383[5] and 511[6] if there is concrete evidence to substantiate an accusation of Social Boycott. There are some Constitutional Provisions also in this regard. The Constitution guarantees freedom of association. It also recognizes that punitive community action can severely harm individual freedom, dignity and access to basic public goods. For this reason, it curtails the power of groups in various ways.

The Maharashtra Social Boycott Law is an important step in the long-standing struggle for social inclusion. It is however only one step. As Ambedkar recognized, exclusion occurs along multiple axes through boycott, through stigmatization and through segregation. For now, however, the Maharashtra Law is an important first step. The devil, of course, will now lie in the implementation.

[1] IPC Section 34: – Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention. —When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone

[2] IPC Section 120 – A: – criminal conspiracy. —When two or more per­sons agree to do, or cause to be done,

(1) an illegal act, or

(2) an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agree­ment is designated a criminal conspiracy: Provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof. Explanation. —It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement, or is merely incidental to that object.

[3] IPC Section 120 – B: – Punishment of criminal conspiracy.

[4] IPC Section 153 – A: – Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.

[5] IPC Section 383: – Extortion.—Whoever intentionally puts any person in fear of any injury to that person, or to any other, and thereby dishon­estly induces the person so put in fear to deliver to any person any property or valuable security, or anything signed or sealed which may be converted into a valuable security, commits “extor­tion”.

[6] IPC Section 511: –  Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment.—Whoever attempts to commit an offence punishable by this Code with 1[imprisonment for life] or imprisonment, or to cause such an offence to be commit­ted, and in such attempt does any act towards the commission of the offence, shall, where no express provision is made by this Code for the punishment of such attempt, be punished with 2[imprisonment of any description provided for the offence, for a term which may extend to one-half of the imprisonment for life or, as the case may be, one-half of the longest term of imprison­ment provided for that offence], or with such fine as is provided for the offence, or with both.

This article is authored by Devesh Nath Tiwari, Student of 3rd year B.A. LL.B at Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, IPU.

Also Read – Legality of Advocates Boycotts Court Work.

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