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Sunday 26 January 2020

Chain snatchers in Gujarat face up to 10 years imprisonment

While committing the offence, if the chain snatchers injure somebody while trying to escape, they will be liable for imprisonment of up to 10 years

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to a Gujarat legislation under which chain snatchers in the State will face up to 10 years imprisonment instead of three years elsewhere in the country.

The Criminal Law (Gujarat Amendment) Bill 2018 will provide a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to Rs 25,000 if anyone in Gujarat is convicted for the crime of chain snatching and causing injuries in the process.

The President has given his assent to the Bill recently, a home ministry official said.

In rest of the country, chain snatchers are normally charged with the Section 379 of the IPC, which is related to the crime of theft and invites punishment of up to three years in jail or with fine, or with both.

The Gujarat Assembly in September 2018 had amended Section 379 of the IPC by adding two clauses, IPC 379(A) and 379(B), thus incorporating the stringent punishment, the official said.

The Gujarat government enacted the law as the punishment for theft under Section 379 of the IPC is considered to be insufficient to deter the chain snatchers as they often get bail, another official said.

As per the new law, for an attempt to snatch chain, the accused will get a minimum five and maximum seven years of imprisonment.

For committing the crime of chain snatching, the accused will be liable to get seven years imprisonment.

However, while committing the offence, if the accused injures somebody while trying to escape, he will be liable to get imprisonment of up to 10 years.

Snatch theft is a criminal act prevalent in southeast Asia, South America, and southern Europe. The snatchers forcefully take possession of a pedestrian’s personal property by employing rob-and-run tactics.

They normally operate in groups of two or more individuals. They often ride a motorcycle, moped or other types of motorbikes to steal and escape easily. One of them steers the vehicle while the other, the snatcher, does the act of theft.

Some snatchers work alone and do not use a vehicle to escape with the presumption that the victim cannot catch up by running as fast.

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