Kerala Yukthi Vadhi Sangham Petitions Kerala HC Seeking Enactment of Bill against Human Sacrifice & Black Magic

Kerala HC Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: October 18, 2022 at 20:29 IST

Kerala Yukthi Vadhi Sangham has petitioned the Kerala High Court, requesting that the state government consider and make a decision on the legislation and implementation of the “Kerala Prevention of Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices, Sorcery, and Black Magic Bill, 2019”.

In 2019, the state Law Reforms Commission, led by Justice KT Thomas, submitted recommendations to the government on the bill.

The law has gained attention in the aftermath of a horrifying incident from Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, in which three people were detained for “human sacrifice” of two women.

The petitioner, a registered cultural group in Kerala, stated in the plea filed through Advocate P.V. Jeevesh that the State was constantly experiencing various incidences of crimes related to superstitious beliefs.

“Several cases of human sacrifices and other types of assaults in connection with the superstitious belief of black magic and witchcraft have come to light,” the petition states.

“For the purposes of God’s grace, financial gains, getting jobs, resolving family problems, the birth of children, and several other desires, some people are practising black magic and witchcraft, of which people belong to the downtrodden, and children and women are mostly the victims.”

The petitioner also claimed that despite approaching both the central and state governments several times, preferring several mass petitions, and submitting model bills for the statute, it had not made any progress in enacting adequate legislation to protect civil society from evil and sinister practises.

Although certain measures in this regard have been presented, the petitioner claims that they have not been enacted. Opponents of the proposed measures argue that they violate their religious and other values, according to the plea.

The petitioner also stated that in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra, appropriate legislation in this area has been able to effectively combat the scourge.

Thus, the petitioner contends that, because the State has remained a mute spectator in the face of these atrocities and practises – which amount to a violation of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution – it is incumbent on the judiciary to issue the necessary “reminder call” and issue directions.

To support its case, the petitioner cited the “Beijing Statement of Principles of Judiciary Independence in the LAWASIA Region,” to which India is a signatory.

Furthermore, the petition draws attention to various advertisements broadcast on print, visual, and social media that make false claims about curing and preventing diseases through magical powers, as well as false claims about drugs, and claims that the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954, has not been effectively enforced in the state.

Furthermore, the petitioner claims that films on big screens and OTT platforms, as well as several serials and telefilms on various platforms, with content on superstitious beliefs and occult practises, have a negative impact on society’s scientific temper and lead to the commission of various crimes.

To bolster its case, the petitioner has also provided data on the number of missing people in the state.

The petitioner has emphasised the importance of enacting legislation prohibiting the practise of black magic, witchcraft, sorcery, and other inhuman, evil, and sinister practises, and has requested that the government consider enacting the ‘Kerala Prevention of Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices, Sorcery, and Black Magic Bill, 2019’.

The petitioner has also asked for a directive to form a special team to conduct a proper investigation or re-probe into missing person instances in the state during the last 50 years.

The petition further requests that the offences of supporting, spreading, or engaging in such inhuman and evil behaviours, or causing others to do so, be rendered cognizable and non-bailable.

The petitioner has also requested that a writ be issued asking the State Police Chief to seek out black magic and witchcraft centres in the state and to take appropriate action under the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act of 1954.

It has also requested that films, telefilms, and serials airing on various platforms, including those with good intentions, be declared illegal, and that appropriate writs be issued to the respondents to take appropriate action against the producers, directors, writers, actors, and others associated with the same.

Aside from this, the petitioner has asked the Court to declare that advertisements for black magic books for sale on internet sites are illegal, and he has asked for a proper instruction to be issued to the authorities to take action.

The petition was filed in response to the recent human sacrifice in Elanthoor Village in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta District, in which two women lottery vendors were abducted and brutally killed as part of a ritualistic sacrifice by three accused persons: Muhammad Shafi alias Rasheed, Bhagaval Singh, and Laila.

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