Communal Violence Bill

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs is all set to table the much criticized Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, in its original form. To recall, this Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of Home Affairs headed by Shivraj Patil on December 5, 2005 and referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs for examination and report on the Bill. The Bill had attracted severe criticism from NGOs, activists, jurists, academicians etc.

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National Advisory Council to prepare the Communal and Sectarian Violence Bill, 2010 by November this year.Having rejected the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, prepared by the government last month, the NAC has decided to broaden the scope of the legislation by changing its nomenclature to Communal and Sectarian Violence Bill, 2010 keeping in mind the concerns of the civil society groups.

National Advisory Council: Scope, mandate and timelines for the Drafting Committee & Advisory Group

To draft a bill that can provide effective prevention and control of communal and sectarian violence, and justice and comprehensive reparations to survivors and victims of communal and sectarian violence. This would be ensured on the basis of certain essential elements accepted by people’s groups, civil society groups and the NAC, including the key principle of accountability of public officials.

To frame relevant provisions, including rules, for relief, compensation, rehabilitation, resettlement, restitution, and reparations, keeping in mind the rights of internally displaced persons.

To frame relevant provisions, including rules, of evidence, procedure, and victim-witness rights.

The draft bill is expected to be ready in approximately 3 months time, by November 2010.

Citizen’s submissions and feedback

Starting from now till September 2010, any concerned citizen may send their submissions to

[email protected]

The Drafting Committee is expected to make a first presentation of the new Draft Bill to the Advisory Group by September, 2010.

At this stage the draft will also be posted on the NAC website. Any concerned citizen may give feedback.

The final draft bill shall also be posted on the NAC website.

NAC:Communal & Sectarian Violence Bill

Key Guiding Principles at a Glance

1.Broaden title and applicability of the law to include ‘communal & sectarian violence’

2.Shift from empowering the State, to seeking action & accountability of State/public officials

3.Basic framework of law must not rest on declaration of “disturbed areas”

4.Need for an independent National Authority to ensure effective compliance with the law, without disturbing the federal structure.

5.Ensure accountability & criminal liability of public officials for acts of omission & commission, for preventing or controlling communal & sectarian violence, or extending timely and adequate rescue, relief and rehabilitation

6.Incorporate the doctrines of Command & Superior responsibility

7.Definition of communal & sectarian violence to cover both isolated incidents as well as mass crimes, against people based on religious, caste, linguistic, regional and other identities.

8.Need to specifically define and include new crimes/offences including sexual assault, enforced disappearances, torture, long-lasting social & economic boycott, and genocide, among others

9.Need to remove prior sanction requirement for Hate Speech (Sec. 153A & 153B – IPC)

10.Statutory obligation on government to lay down national standards for the entire spectrum of provisions for victims – including rescue, relief, compensation, rehabilitation, resettlement, restitution, reparation and recognizing the rights of internally displaced persons.

11.Implementation according to the norms in point 10 to be a statutory obligation under this law

12.Compensation amounts to be specified in terms of national norms under the law, and revised every 3 yrs

13.Need for amendments in CrPC and Indian Evidence Act to meet extraordinary circumstance of communal & sectarian violence to protect victims’ rights

14.Specific provisions for victim-witness rights to be made under this law

Communal Violence Bill

PollCommunal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill, what sould be done with it?

Year 2010

April 9:

Communal Violence Bill deferred till winter sessionBy Faisal Fareed

April 5:

Muslim leaders demand changes in Communal Violence Bill

March 24:

Concern over Communal Violence Bill becoming a movement

March 21:

Muslim law board opposes communal violence bill

AIMPLB concerned over Indo-Israel relations, CV Bill, fake encounters

March 19:

Fix responsibility of police in communal violence bill: Muslim forum

AIMPLB says no to Communal Violence Bill

March 17:

Rewrite Communal Violence Bill: Christian Council

Feb. 18:

Communal violence bill – how useful to victims? By Asghar Ali Engineer

Feb. 13:

Civil Society rejects Communal Violence Bill

29 Nov. 2009:

Kill the Bill