Jaitley blasts draft, Sibal shrugs
Lambasting the draft Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the proposed draft would ‘encourage minority communalism’ and ‘damage’ the federal polity.delhi Updated: May 26, 2011 23:42 IST
Lambasting the draft Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Thursday said the proposed draft would ‘encourage minority communalism’ and ‘damage’ the federal polity.
In an analysis, Jaitley wrote the draft presumed that members of the majority community alone would create communal trouble. He wondered why law should so discriminate on the basis of religion or caste.
Brushing aside the criticism, HRD Kapil Sibal said all such points raised could be taken care of by the House panels.
“This draft bill proceeds on a presumption that communal trouble is created only be members of the majority community and never by members of the minority community,” Jaitley said.
“Offences committed by members of the majority community against members of the minority community are punishable. Identical offences committed by minority groups against the majority are not deemed offences at all.”
“Jaitley is a good lawyer. All the points being raised can be taken care of when the stage of examination comes at the Parliamentary Standing Committee stage,” said Sibal. However, in an apparent reference to Gujarat, Sibal said in some cases FIRs had not been lodged for nine years.
Jaitley contended that the bill’s approach could “incentivise members of some communities to commit such offences encouraged by the fact that they would never be charged under the Act” and that “(Jihadi) terrorist groups (would) be incentivised to create communal riots”.
“The drafting of the bill appears to be a handiwork of those who have learnt from the Gujarat experience of how to fix senior leaders even when they are not liable for an offence,” Jaitley said.
“It is bound to be misused. Perhaps, that appears to be the real purpose behind it,” he said.
Jaitley said the draft suggested that the Centre was seeking to invade on the state’s right to maintain law and order under the federal division of powers.