Maharashtra mulling to invoke Sec 153A against politicians spreading misinformation

Maharashtra government is mulling to invoke section 153 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against those political leaders who are "deliberately trying to spread misinformation" about the ruling dispensation.

"The government is considering to invoke section 153 A of IPC, which prohibits attempts to create enmity between different castes and communities. Since the last few days, opposition legislators, former lawmakers have been spreading falsehood about the new education policy, about affordable homes for conservancy staff and tur dal," Maharashtra BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari told reporters here.

Section 153 A provides for punishment for promotion of enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. Those found guilty may get imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall also be liable to a fine.

"Deliberate attempts are being made since the past few days to spread misinformation about the non-existent education policy with a view to create enmity between castes and communities," Bhandari said.

Terming it as a "personal vendetta" against Minister for School Education Vinod Tawde, he said attempts were made to paint it as Tawde's own educational policy.

"For the last three days Lokbharti Party MLC Kapil Patil has been trying to spread misinformation over the non-existent state education policy," the BJP leader said in response to queries over the issue.

He also said that former Congress Minister Nitin Raut has also raised hue and cry over Government Resolution (GR) related to affordable housing to conservancy staff.

"This government issued the GR on February 26, 2014, almost 15 years after the late Vasant Chavan committee submitted its report during the previous Congress-NCP regime.

What was Raut doing all these years when his own government accepted the report 15 years ago?" he asked.

On the allegations levelled by NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik against Food & Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat over tur dal issue, Bhandari said his charges were not based on facts.

Alleging that attempts were made to create panic among people over tur dal issue, Bhandari said, the government took prompt action and allayed fear among people with information about adequate stocks.

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