Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On the Communal Violence Bill 2011

by Teesta Setalvad on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 at 1:37am

The Communal Violence Bill 2011 (CVB) is legislative and judicial recognition of the fact that religious and linguistic minorities need protection when mass and targeted crimes are committed due to the majoritarian bias that has crept into our democratic institutional framework especially the administration, police and judiciary.

As far as fair, substantive and prompt compensation and reparation is awarded under the Bill it is equally provided for, to both members of the majority and minority who have suffered physical and other losses. Only as far as punishment and prosecution is concerned the law will protect the minority group. It will apply when a majoritarian bais works to affect the life and dignity of the minority group. Sections of the IPC do and are used when minority communalists attack the majority. How can those parties who are harbinger of majoritarianism, divide and rule and hatred and division within Indian politics understand or acknowledge this?

Moreover the Bill addresses the issue of Chain of Command responsibility, ensures that Sanction for Prosecuting Public Officials does not obstruct the course of Justice and Guarantees Cameras in the Courtrooms. Most of the decisive provisions if and when the Bill is passed and becomes Law will ensure safeguards against destruction of Evidence and Protection of Victim and Witness Survivor Rights. All this should ensure deterrence which surely should be the social object of any law?


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