Tells HC it was informed amendment to deal with issue was not required.
New Delhi: The AAP government on Wed-nesday told the Delhi high court that the Centre has informed it that amendment of penal law to deal with the issue of chain sn-atching was not required.
The Delhi government had earlier this year written to the Centre to consider amending the penal provisions to deal with chain snatching, a serious issue plaguing the national capital.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C. Hari Shankar asked the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Delhi government to file affidavits indicating their stand on the issue and listed the matter for further hearing on October 30.
The Delhi government had earlier informed the court that Haryana and Punjab have made snatching a separate offence after amending the law.
The bench was hearing a petition by advocate Prashant Manchanda who has alleged that incidents of chain snatching in the city have seen a six-fold rise leading to a “fear psychosis” in the minds of citizens as well as tourists who are also targeted by the perpetrators.
During the hearing, the petitioner contended that the Delhi police was booking the offenders of such crimes in a routine manner under milder provisions which entail a punishment of only up to three years.
He said even without a specific offence under the law to make snatching a separate offence, the offenders could be booked under section 390 (robbery) of the IPC as it uses the word ‘fear of wrongful restraint’ and carries a jail term of up to 10 years.
On this aspect, the poli-ce, represented by advocate Gautam Narayan, opposed the petitioner’s contention and told the court that it was booking offenders under IPC Sect-ion 390 wherever applicable. The petition has clai-med that on an average, there were 25 snatching cases every day in the city due to “absence of effective laws” and “indifference” of the police.
“Many incidents of snatching entail serious wounds and also involve use of deadly weapons, leading to fatal injuries or death of the victims,” it has said.