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Fundamental issues with Anti-Communal Violence Bill: D Raja

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Fundamental issues with Anti-Communal Violence Bill: D Raja
Fundamental issues with Anti-Communal Violence Bill: D Raja

New Delhi – Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D Raja said on Friday there are fundamental issues with the ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013’ and added that the government cannot encroach upon the powers of state governments using this legislation.

“There are two fundamental issues about dealing with victims of communal violence. Firstly, they should be treated irrespective of their community, religion or language for compensation or rehabilitation. Secondly, the union government cannot encroach upon the power of the state government using this legislation,” said Raja.

“It cannot jeopardize the federal structure of our government, which is the reason why several states have written to the central government. So, all these factors have to be kept in mind and the bill has to be reworked accordingly,” he added.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Rajnath Singh said the ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013’will not deliver equal justice to citizens.

“If B.R. Ambedkar would have been here, he would have definitely opposed the bill, as he firmly believed that justice should never be granted on the basis of religion, caste or class,” said Singh.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said there will be a thorough discussion on the bill and a solution will be worked out.

The ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013’ proposes to impose duties on the Centre and state governments and their officers to exercise their powers in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner to prevent and control targeted violence, including mass violence against religious or linguistic minorities, SCs and STs.

The bill also proposes constitution of a body – National Authority for Communal Harmony, Justice and Reparation – by the Centre to exercise the powers and perform the functions assigned to it under this Act. The bill largely sticks to the provisions prepared by Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC).

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Modi described the bill as an attempt to encroach upon the authorities of the state governments and sought wider consultation among the various stakeholders such as the state governments, political parties, police and security agencies etc. before any further movement on the issue.

The Gujarat Chief Minister said his government is sensitive to the issue of communal violence and agreed that there is a need to be vigilant on communal violence but the contents and timing of the bill are suspicious.

He brought out the various operational issues in the proposed Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013. He shared various shortcomings in the individual sections of the proposed Bill.

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