With the President of India giving assent to the Maharashtra Prohibition of People from Social Boycott (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2016, Maharashtra has become the first state in the country to bring a law making social boycott a crime.
The movement, initiated by late Narendra Dabholkar, gained momentum after he was shot dead and the Maharashtra legislature passed the law unanimously in 2016. It was pending with the central government for the President's nod. The President gave the assent on June 20, 2017.
The new law proposes action against extra-judicial bodies like jat (caste) and community panchayats, and prescribes a maximum punishment of three years in jail. As per the law, the offence of imposing social boycott will attract maximum punishment of 3 years in prison or a fine up to Rs.1 lakh or both.The abetment of the offence also attracts the same punishment and fine.