Staff Reporter, Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reconsider the proposal to introduce the revised version of the Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill-2013 in the Winter Session of Parliament instead of dropping it altogether.
“I would like to reiterate that the Madhya Pradesh Government strongly feels that the Bill is regressive, vague and runs counter to the spirit of the Constitution.
We are fully committed to stamping out communal violence, but we do not feel that this Bill is designed to achieve this objective, and would, in fact, create more difficulties than it would serve. Hence, the Bill will serve no useful purpose,” the Chief Minister said in a letter to Dr Singh.
Mr Chouhan said that he had gone through the provisions of the Bill carefully and also held extensive discussions with colleagues, informed citizens, law enforcing agencies and members of the legal fraternity.
“I am constrained to say at the outset that the Bill not only attempts to abrogate and usurp the legislative powers of the state governments, as guaranteed by Constitution, but also tries to trample upon the basic tenets of the criminal jurisprudence.
Besides, certain provisions of the Bill seem to be based on dangerous
assumption that the law enforcing functionaries and other instrumentalities of the state are automatically colluders in the perpetuation of communal violence,” the Chief Minister said in the missive.
Expressing disagreement with some of the provisions of the Bill, Mr Chouhan said “Some of the provisions appear to be unreasonable, harsh and against the canons of restitutive justice.”
Mentioning clause 81 A of the Bill, the Chief Minister said that the provision clearly militates against the recommendations of the devolution of funds made by the Sarkaria Commission.