The Union Cabinet on 16 December 2013 approved the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill 2013. The bill aimed to prevent and tackle the communal violence in the country and punish the perpetrators of the violence.
The Bill has been named as The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013.
The Bill has the provision of creating an institutional arrangement for speedy investigation, disposal of cases and for providing relief and rehabilitation to victims of communal violence. It also seeks imposition of enhanced punishment on persons involved in communal violence.
The highlights of the Bill
• The Bill defines communal violence to include any act of series of acts, whether spontaneous or planned, resulting in injury or harm to the person or property knowingly directed against any person by virtue of his or her religious or linguistic identity.
• The Bill has proposed to punish organized communal violence with life imprisonment. Hate propaganda will be punished with up to three years imprisonment or fine or both. Funding of communal violence will be punished with up to three years or fine or both.
• Dereliction of duty will invite a punishment with imprisonment ranging from two years to five years and breach of command with imprisonment of up to 10 years.
• Earlier the power of intervention of the Centre in event of riots was unilateral, that is, central could send paramilitary forces without consulting the state governments. This has been amended and now the State governments will have discretion in deciding whether the assistance of the Centre is needed or not.
• The new bill makes bureaucrats and public servants accountable for any acts of commission and omission while handling communal violence. However bureaucrats who refuse to obey unlawful orders of their superiors during communal situations cannot be held responsible for willful neglect of duty.
• The Bill provide compensation of 7 lakh rupees to the next kin of those killed in communal violence, 5 lakh rupees for rape, 3 lakh rupees to 5 lakh rupees for disability and 2 lakh rupees for grievous injury.
If you have any Question/Point on the above issue, please ask/discuss it in the Current Affairs Group
Who: Union Cabinet
Where: New Delhi
When: 16 December 2013