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Posted at: Aug 28, 2018, 1:51 PM; last updated: Aug 29, 2018, 1:58 AM (IST)

Punjab Assembly passes Bills seeking life imprisonment for sacrilege

Punjab Assembly passes Bills seeking life imprisonment for sacrilege
The Bills were originally introduced in assembly in March 2016 but were withdrawn by the government after the President refused to grant assent.

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28

Punjab Vidhan Sabha unanimously has passed the Indian Penal Code (Punjab Amendment)  Bill, 2017 and The Code of Criminal Procedure (Punjab Amendment) Bill that seeks life imprisonment to those who commit sacrilege.

The Bills were originally introduced in assembly in March 2016 but were withdrawn by the government after the President refused to grant assent.

Participating in the debate, AAP MLA Aman Arora also demands that another amendment be made, that trial should be complete within six months.

Gurpratap Singh Wadala, Akali MLA, said that one should not politicise the issue of religion. We are again trying to politicise religion, which could have adverse repercussions for Punjab. He said that Akali Dal was supporting the Bill, but said that the people should get closure on this sensitive issue.

Bikram Singh Majithia too said that his party supported the Bill, but said that desecration of Guru Granth Sahib should be treated separately as Guru Granth Sahib has been accepted as a living guru.

Capt Amarinder Singh clarified that GoI had said that it was not possible to consider one religion separately and give separate punishment. He said the GoI had sought legal opinion and it was said that being a secular country it was not possible to give special punishment for desecration of holy book of one religion.

Replying to this, Wadala said that we as legislators understand the unique case of Guru Granth Sahib.

Technical Education Minister Charanjit singh Channi taunts Akali Dal for having a double face on the issue, saying they did not oppose when the Centre refused to accept the Bill.

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