The state government today cleared an Anti-Superstition and Black Magic Ordinance to replace a Bill that had been approved by the cabinet but had lapsed before it could be taken up in the assembly. The Bill has been pending for eight years.

Among other things, the law seeks to make it punishable for self-styled godmen to prey on people by offering rituals, charms, magical cures and propagating black magic.

Dr Dabholkar had relentlessly campaigned for a law against superstition and black magic in the face of criticism from right-wing groups who had called him "anti-Hindu".