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Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Since the proposed legislation stipulates that' 'Every Police Officer shall take action, to the best of his or her ability, to prevent the commission of all offences under this Act" [clause 18 (2)], the relevant thana will have to register a case under the new legislation.

The Bill is explicit that "unless otherwise specified, all offences under this Act shall be cognisable and non-bailable" [Clause 58].

Clause 73 of this bill means that there is a presumption of guilt of the accused. The principle of innocent until proven guilty has been turned on its head.

Anonymous informants will also have the automatic right to appeal to a seven-member National Authority if the case is dismissed at the local level, according to the bill's Clause 70(1).

The National Authority appointed by the Centre is not made up of sober and dispassionate judges. It would enjoy draconian powers, including the right to enter properties, carry out searches [Clause 33 (4)] and even control media content [Clause 8 and 67(1)]. This reminds people of the infamous Rowlett Act of the British colonial era.

A statutory and quasi-judicial authority will be appointed on the basis of a communal quota. This body will also monitor and review transfers and postings of the civil administration in districts that have a record of communal tension or where communal disturbances could flare up [Clause 32(2)].

Clearly, the draft NAC bill opens the doors for activist and overtly communal jurisprudence. India will witness a parallel Government committed to the principle that some Indians are more equal than others. It will open the floodgates for settling private scores and political vendetta.

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