Communal Violence Bill a recipe for disaster, Narendra Modi to PM

AHMEDABAD (TIP): Questioning the timing of bringing the Communal Violence Bill, Narendra Modi on December 5 wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, describing the proposed legislation as “illconceived, poorly drafted and a recipe for disaster”. Terming the bill as an attempt to encroach upon the domain of states, the BJP’s PM candidate sought wider consultations among various stakeholders, such as state governments, political parties, police and security agencies, before making any move on the issue. Modi’s letter comes on the morning of beginning of the winter session of Parliament in which the bill is likely to be taken up.

“Communal Violence Bill is ill-conceived, poorly drafted and a recipe for disaster,” Modi said in his letter. Meanwhile, PM Manmohan Singh when asked about Narendra Modi’s opposition to Communal Bill, said, “It will be our effort to evolve broad-based consensus on all matters of great legislative importance.” The Gujarat chief minister said, “the timing to bring the bill is suspicious owing to political considerations and vote bank politics, rather than genuine concerns”.

Expressing strong concern that the proposed legislation would further divide people on religious and linguistic lines, Modi said, “religious and linguistic identities would become more reinforced and even ordinary incidents of violence would be given a communal colour thus giving the opposite result of what the bill intends to achieve”. He also brought out various “operational issues” in the proposed Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013. “For example, Section 3(f) that defines ‘hostile environment’, is wide-ranging, vague and open to misuse.

Likewise, the definition of communal violence under Section 3 (d) read with Section 4 would raise questions on whether the Centre is introducing the concept of ‘thought crime’ in the context of the Indian criminal jurisprudence,” the letter said.

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