Take Immediate Steps Under Prevalent Laws To Curb Ostracism/ Social Boycott: Odisha HC To State Govt

Take Immediate Steps Under Prevalent Laws To Curb Ostracism/ Social Boycott: Odisha HC To State Govt

The Odisha High Court on Monday directed the State government to take immediate steps to curb the practice of social boycott or ostracism prevalent in the State of Odisha.

While acknowledging that it cannot direct the State government to legislate on any subject, the bench comprising Chief Justice KS Jhaveri and Justice KR Mohapatra ordered that the State should act more sternly under the current laws.

It asserted, "Even though we have restriction to direct the State Government to have legislation in that regard, however we direct the State Government to take immediate steps to prevent the practice of social boycott prevalent in the society under the prevailing law, may be under IPC or any other law for the time being in force whatever offence is committed. The citizens at large should be protected from the menace of such evil practice."

The court was hearing a petition filed by one Mohammed Mustaq Ansari, a social activist and a practicing lawyer from Sambalpur district. He had drawn the attention of the court to such practices of social boycott and had alleged failure of the State in eliminating them.

Highlighting the seriousness of the issue, the court observed, "The action of the public at large booting an individual or family socially, requires serious attention and immediate action as well by the State authorities. No doubt, the State Government has attempted partially in this regard and no doubt there is serious requirement of endeavour to overreach unethical practice prevailing in the State of Odisha."

It then directed the State to take immediate steps to prevent ostracism under the laws currently in force and disposed of the petition.

Read the Order Here