Uttar Pradesh Control of Organized Crime Act, 2017 (UPCOCA) – UPSC GS3

  • Government’s claim: the proposed law is a remedy against organised crime.
  • Opposition claim: UPCOCA could potentially be used as a tool to suppress rivals, settle political vendetta and target specific communities.
Features of the UPCOCA:
  • The UPCOCA law would give special powers to the police to arrest offenders and members of the crime syndicates.
  • The State would be empowered to seize the property of such people after taking the consent of a special court constituted to hear the cases.
  • Properties acquired through illegal activities and organised crime would also be seized.
  • Some of the crimes defined under the UPCOCA are: land grab [government and non-state property], illegal mining, manufacture and sale of illegal medicines and illicit liquor, money laundering, wildlife smuggling, extortion, abduction syndicate, hafta collection, murder and conspiracy to murder and white-collar offences.
  • If found guilty, offenders would face a minimum jail term of three years and a maximum of life imprisonment or even death sentence.
  • The accused will not be granted bail for six months after the arrest.
  • Do we need special laws like UPCOCA, MACOCA to handle crime?

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