Taking a step towards completely eliminating the practice of social boycott, still prevalent in various parts of the state, the Maharashtra government has prepared a draft bill ‘Maharashtra Prohibition of Social Boycott Act, 2015’.

As per the provisions of the draft bill, social boycott is prohibited and amounts to an offence. Any offence punishable under this Act would be cognisable, bailable and could be put to trial. Whoever imposes or causes any social boycott would, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment, which may extend to seven years, or fine up to R5 lakh, or both. Abetting the offence would amount a three-year imprisonment and a fine of R3 lakh, or both.

CM Devendra Fadnavis had announced his intent to ban social boycott in the last Monsoon session of the Legislative Assembly. The government has now sought citizens’ suggestions on the draft bill.