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UP Cabinet approves bill for tough law against organised crime

IANS | Lucknow |

The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet on Wednesday approved a bill for a new tough law — UPCOCA (Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act) — to deal with the mafia, land grabbers and goons in the state.

The state police mooted the proposal that is in line with the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999.

The state’s Bharatiya Janata Party government had made its intentions of “zero tolerance” against crime amply clear with its approval to the proposed law, Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said while briefing the media on the Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

“The proposed law will be used as an effective weapon to control crime and has been made after due study of similar laws in other states,” the Minister added.

The legislation will now be put before the assembly during the winter session that starts on Thursday.

Under the new law, he said, an Organised Crime Control Authority will be constituted under the Principal Secretary (Home).

District Magistrates will head these bodies at the district-level.

The bill provides for powers to police to confiscate the property of criminals found guilty under UPCOCA.

The cabinet also approved the implementation of biometric attendance for state Secretariat officials.

The Cabinet also gave its nod to amendments in the Waqf Authority rules, under which the Waqf Authority would be shifted from Rampur, bastion of senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Azam Khan, to Lucknow.

This body will have one Chairman and two members. All cases pending after March 3, 2014, will be heard in this proposed authority.