Gujarat Police Director General Ashish Bhatia has called on all police stations and district heads in the state to take strict action against loan sharks involved in usury acts by reserving them under the strict law on the prevention of anti-social activities (PASA).
Usury refers to the practice of collecting money unethically by charging the borrower high interest rates through the money lender.
According to a directive issued by DGP Bhatia to all police commissioners and police superintendents in Gujarat on Saturday, every police station was asked to keep a register of money lenders involved in the usury.
“Recently, the state government amended PASA and Gunda to include the practice of usury as an offense under which those involved in the illegal lending of money can be sent to jail. under the provisions of the PASA law. There have been numerous incidents where borrowers have been charged high interest rates and then threatened to pay the amount or their properties are confiscated by loan sharks, ”a statement from DGP Bhatia’s office read.
“As a result, time and again, the victim borrower chose suicide because of the harassment. A special directive was issued by the office of the DGP to immediately become aware of such incidents and record the infringement (sic), ”the statement added.
In accordance with the directive, all police officers have been ordered to file Articles 384, 387 of the Indian Penal Code against lenders who lend money without registration, or above the set limit of interest rates, are found seizing the properties of borrowers in exchange for the loan amount or found harassing the borrower.
Police have also been ordered to appoint teams from the local criminal branch of the district police to collect technical evidence to ensure that these loan sharks who have avoided arrest so far do not get bail. anticipated or lightened investigation by the court.
The directive also stipulates that after the arrest of the usurer, his previous criminal record must be checked in order to reserve it under the PASA (under which the accused tried is transferred to the prison of another district ) or under the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 110G. under which repeat offenders deemed “dangerous and desperate” are registered.
The directive also states that in cases where the borrower cannot return the loaned money and their property is confiscated, these accused sharks can be reserved under the Money Laundering Prevention Act and the law. about Gujarat money lenders.
A conference on crime will also be organized soon to further discuss the strategy to avoid attrition practices, the DGP office informed.
Meanwhile, three Babara residents in Amreli – Jasukbhai Jumana, Yuvraj Jumana and Ramesh Khachar – were arrested for allegedly forcing a borrower to sign a blank check in exchange for the loaned money and then threatened him.
An FIR at Babara Police Station registers the accused under sections 384 (extortion) of the IPC, 387 (representing fear or death or serious injury for extortion) 506 (criminal intimidation) and sections of the Gujarat Money Lender Law.
The FIR specifies that the three accused had loaned Rs 120,000 to Gaurang Kotak without registration at the interest rate of 12%. Gaurang who is a chemist by profession was then forced to sign a blank check by the lenders.
“We arrested three people for forcing the victim to sign a blank check in exchange for borrowed money,” said Nirlipt Rai, Amreli police commissioner.