The state government has constituted a five-member committee to widen discussion and debate around the controversial Draft Police Bill 2013 after it drew concern and sharp reactions from different sections of the civil society.
Introduced by the state home department in February this year, the feedback date for the Bill too has been extended further. "Keeping in view the concerns expressed by various sections of the society and also by the members of political parties, we have decided to extend the deadline up to April 30 so that more and more people are able to give their feedback and suggestions," said junior state home minister c
Earlier, the feedback date was fixed for March 31. The Bill came into existence in accordance with the directions by the Supreme Court to bring reforms in the police set up throughout India.
The draft bill, however, sparked a furore from the civil society for "allowing intrusion into people’s private space, wresting powers from civilian authority, more powers to detain people on flimsy grounds and a new net of impunity".
The bill proposes provisions wherein any person cleaning a furniture or vehicle, slaughtering an animal, cleaning a carcass or grooming an animal in a public place would invite punishment.
The civil society has pointed out controversial clauses wherein the police officials shall be treated always on duty, making prosecution of erring cops almost impossible like the AFSPA. Legal experts have described several provisions as "violation of the constitution".
The new committee has been mandated to hold fresh meetings with civil society groups to allay fears. "We will start fresh consultation from the first week of May," said Kitchloo.
The minister said the authorities are ready to underline suggestions and incorporate them.
The committee is headed by the minister of state for home, principal secretary (Home) and director general of police. Besides, divisional commissioners and IGPs of Srinagar and Jammu will be special invitees during the consultation in their respective divisions.