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NAC Put Its Draft on Communal Violence Bill in The Public Domain

India Current Affairs 2011. The National Advisory Council (NAC) decided to put its draft on Communal Violence Bill in the public domain, with a wider ambit of vulnerable sections of the society on 28 April 2011. NAC is to discuss the bill again after assessing people's views.

Apr 29, 2011 18:14 IST
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The National Advisory Council (NAC) decided to put its draft on Communal Violence Bill in the public domain, with a wider ambit of vulnerable sections of the society on 28 April 2011. NAC is to discuss the bill again after assessing people's views. The working group of NAC decided to review the draft Bill before its next meeting. NAC is to place the final version of the draft for consideration, based on the feedback received from people. The National Advisory Council (NAC) is led by Sonia Gandhi. Convener of the NAC working group, Farah Naqvi presented the draft Bill at its meeting.


The draft was titled as Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011. It aimed to protect and provide relief to not just victims of communal riots, but also Tribals, Dalits and Linguistic minorities and any community that is in minority, in a particular region. The Bill took into account the recent pattern of attacks in Maharashtra and some other regions on migrant workers from outside the states.


Indian Constitution’s holds that vulnerable groups require protection against discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. It comes under Article 15(1). These groups have been vulnerable to historical and contemporary forms of discrimination; that is why they need to be protected.

 

About Article 15(1)

Article 15(1) of the Indian Constitution says that the State shall not discriminate any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.


Accountability of public officials was the central part of the Bill. Failure of command responsibility was made an offence to ensure accountability at the highest level. A major stumbling block in prosecuting public servants is the provision for getting sanction under S.196 and 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.  The provision of the Bill provides that if such sanction is not granted within 30 days from the date of application to the state government, sanction to prosecute will be deemed to be granted. The draft Bill also provides for constitution of a national authority and state authorities as the primary monitoring and grievance improvement mechanisms.


This is not to supersede the existing law enforcement machinery, nor to disempower or paralyze the existing administrative and justice mechanisms. It is to strengthen them and make them more accountable. Under the Draft Bill, certain new offences such as sexual assault, enforced disappearances, torture, persecution, and enforced migration were defined as offences. Mass violence that is widespread or systematic in nature was also defined specifically as organized communal and targeted violence. The NAC draft Bill also sought to strengthen the rights of the victim, through a series of new provisions. Provisions included the simple right to information at all stages, the right to get copies of all their statements and the right to be heard in a court.

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