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Monday, 30 April 2012


  • The Bill is a dangerous and discriminatory bill which presumes that the majority community is always to blame for communal violence.
  • The most vital definition of the bill is of the expression 'group'. A 'group' means a religious or linguistic minority and in a given state may include the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • The bill creates a whole set of new offences in Chapter II. Clause 6 clarifies that the offences under this bill are in addition to the offences under the SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Can a person be punished twice for the same offence?
  • This draft bill however presumes that communal trouble is created only by the majority community and never by the minority community. Thus, while offences committed by the majority community against the minority community are punishable, identical offences committed by the minority against the majority are not deemed to be offences at all!
  • The legislative intent of this law is that only majority community members commit offences. Therefore, culpability and punishment should only be confined to them. 
  • If implemented, this bill opens up a huge scope for abuse. It can also be incentive for the members of certain communities or even terrorists to commit communal offences encouraged by the fact that they would never be charged under the act. 
  • The procedures to be followed for investigations under this act are extraordinary. Statement cannot be recorded under Section 161 of the CrPC, but only under Section 164 (before courts). The government will have powers to intercept and block messages and telecommunications under this law. Under Clause 74 of the bill, an allegation is presumed equivalent to proof. Public servants under this bill under Clause 67 are liable to be proceeded against without any state sanction. 
  • The special public prosecutor to conduct proceedings under this act shall not act in aid of truth but 'in the interest of the victim'. The name and identity of the victim complainant will not be disclosed. Progress of the case will be reported by the police to the victim complainant.
  • In its politically motivated campaign against the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act - an anti-terrorist law - the UPA argued that even terrorists should be tried under normal laws. But for the citizens of the majority community, a far more draconian law is now being proposed.

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