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MEMORANDUM SENT TO : HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER DR MAN MOHAN SINGH, MRS SONIA GANDHI, CHAIRPERSON, UNITED PROGRESSI VE ALLIANCE, HOME MINISTER AND LAW MINISTER ON OCTOBER 8, 20 13

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  • Mansi Sharma
    *MEMORANDUM SENT TO : HonÆble Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance, Home Minister and Law Minister on
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2013
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      MEMORANDUM SENT TO : Hon’ble Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance, Home Minister and Law Minister on october 8, 2013

       

      date:october 8, 2013

       

      MEMORANDUM: UPA GOVERNMENT FULFILL YOUR PROMISE TO ENACT A LAW THAT PROTECTS ALL AGAINST COMMUNAL AND TARGETED VIOLENCE

       The 2004 Common Minimum Programme of UPA 1, held out the promise of a ‘comprehensive legislation’ that would strengthen the hands of the citizens to secure justice (commonly referred to as the CV Bill).

       One main thrust of such a legislation should be to counter impunity by securing accountability of all persons exercising State power, and to ensure comprehensive justice for the victim- survivor of communal and targeted violence.

       The legislation introduced by the government in the RajyaSabha on December 5, 2005, the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill 2005,   unfortunately betrayed that promise. The 2005 C.V. Bill, which took the path of `declaration’ of a `communally disturbed area’, and gave extraordinary powers to the Executive, was expressly rejected by all. The Bill was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs that in its report tabled in Parliament in December 2006, did little to redeem the Bill. In early 2009, the UPA government introduced 59 amendments into the Communal Violence Bill 2005, which made no change at all to the architecture of the Bill and which Bill remained deeply flawed and entirely unacceptable.

       It has been repeatedly observed that it is not that the Executive does not have the powers needed to prevent and control a situation of communal and targeted violence. It is the lack of accountability of public servants, officials and others exercising political, executive, administrative and law enforcement powers, further aggravated by institutional bias and complicity that leads to the non-use or misuse of such powers by State functionaries. Almost all incidents of communal violence reveal a pattern of planned or targeted violence; abdication by the state machinery of the responsibility to protect; occurrence of gender based crimes with specific targeting of women’s bodies; followed by indifferent or partisan investigations and consequently absolute impunity for the horrific crimes committed in these violent assaults. The survivors, debilitated and shattered by the violence, with no recognized rights to reparative justice are left to live on the margins of fear and destitution. In almost each incident of targeting of persons on account of their religion, caste, ethnicity or linguistic identity, this pattern has been discerned. There was therefore a clear and unequivocal call for rejecting a Bill that would in any way enhance the arsenal of state power.

      In 2011 the NAC proposed a draft C.V. Bill which incorporated some elements of accountability, justice and reparations. However the framework and definitional formulations in the NAC draft Bill, led to serious misgivings and concerns were raised by many quarters.

      We are of the view that a fresh initiative to draft the C.V. Bill is required and that a law against communal and targeted violence must provide protection to all victims-survivors, and it should respect the federal framework. The key features of such a law are enumerated below.

       The recent outbreak of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar once again reminds us of the urgent and dire need for a law against communal and targeted violence. We the undersigned, secular and civil liberty activists, women’s rights activists, legal experts, academicians, organizations, urge the Government to draft a new legislation, the primary focus of which should be to secure accountability of public servants and to hold them responsible for communal and targeted violence, as well as make provision for providing reparative justice to all victims and survivors of such violence.

       The key features that a law against Communal and Targeted Violence must include:

       Objective – A law to protect ALL persons from communal and targeted crime through making persons in positions of public authority  accountable; punishing all those responsible for perpetrating, planning, inciting, abetting and conspiring to cause the violence, harm, and loss; and just, fair and equitable reparation to ALL affected persons.

      1. The Executive, administrative authorities, law-enforcing agencies and all other public authorities exercising state power, to be held accountable and criminally liable for acts of omission and commission in relation to their duties.
      2. Codify new offences to make acts of commission and omission by public servants criminally liable.
      3.  Elements of command responsibility and superior responsibility to be introduced  in law to hold senior and supervisory public officials for failure to exercise authority:

                Command/Superior Responsibility: To hold senior or superior public officials criminally   responsible for crimes committed by subordinates where:

                  (i) the subordinates committed crimes while under the effective authority and control of the superior.

                  (ii) where the superior either knew, or consciously disregarded information which clearly indicated, that the subordinates were committing, or were about to commit such crimes;

                  (iii) the superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his power to prevent the commission of these crimes or to inform the investigating authorities of the    same.

      1. Principle of constructive responsibility, culpable inaction and dereliction of duty, to be incorporated, by which persons in authority are held accountable for acts of omission  and commission in the lead upto, during and following communal crimes.
      2. To prevent the abuse of doctrine of immunity that shields public servants through the statutory requirement of prior sanction for prosecution of public servant, the decision on sanction for prosecution to be made time-bound and be subject to judicial review.
      3. The excuse of a public official, that he acted or failed to act, on account of orders from a superior administrative or political authority shall not be available as a defence to public servants in situations of communal and targeted crime.
      4. Crimes of Torture and Enforced Disappearances should be introduced in IPC as they acquire a greater intensity during communal and targeted violence. at the earliest.
      5. The procedure relating to investigation, evidence gathering, and trial to be amended, taking note of situations of communal and targeted violence, while ensuring that fair trial rights of the accused are observed.
      6. Robust witness and victim protection provisions be made available at all levels to enable victims to access justice.
      7. The responsibility of the state to recognise the phenomenon of Internal Displacement in the context of communal and targeted violence, and to recognise and respect the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), as enumerated in the UN Guiding Principles for IDPs.
      8. Stipulate and establish principles of just and fair reparation and compensation applicable to all victims and survivors of communal and targeted violence for loss of life; all forms of property; failure to protect and all other harm and injury caused. Reparations include: (i) Responsibility of the government to immediately arrange to Rescue the targeted community and persons; (ii) Organise relief camps and provide for   all needs with special attention to women and children; (iii) Ensure protection of movable and immovable property; (iv) Prompt dispersal of just and fair compensation, (v) Restitution of all victims and survivors of communal and targeted violence; (vi)Recognition for IDP populations and ensure that all their rights are respected; State to give Guarantee of non repetition of communal and targeted violence; and  Public  apology offered to all victims and survivors of communal and targeted violence.

       

      1.       AES, KORAPUT, ORISSA

      2.       AJOY ASHIRWAD, JOURNALIST, DELHI

      3.       ALEEM FAIZEE, MALEGAON,. MAHARASHTRA

      4.       ali asghar, socail activist, hyderabad

      5.       Amar Kanwar, Film maker , Delhi

      6.       ANHAD, DELHI

      7.       Annie Raja, GENERAL SECRETARY, National federation for Indian Women

      8.       ANTARANGA, KANDHAMAL, ORISSA

      9.       ANURADHA CHENOY, PROFESSOR, JNU 

      10.   ARSHAD AJMAL, BIHAR

      11.   Asad Zaidi, Publisher and writer, Delhi

      12.   bhavna sharma, anhad 

      13.   dev desai, socail activist, gujarat

      14.   DHIRENDRA PANDA, ORISSA

      15.   DILIP SIMEON, HISTORIAN AUTHOR, DELHI

      16.   DR KM SHRIMALI, HISTORIAN 

      17.   DR MOHAMMAD ARIF, Centre for Harmony and Peace, Varanasi, UP. 

      18.   DR. JYOTSNA CHATTERJI, JOINT WOMEN'S PROGRAMME, NEW DELHI

      19.   Dr. Mohd. Sajjad, AMU, Aligarh

      20.   Dr. Neshat Quaiser, Jamia Millia islamia, New Delhi

      21.   Dr.Mohan Rao , Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University

      22.   FARHAT AMIN, bhartiya muslim mahila andolan, CUTTACK, ORISSA

      23.   GAGAN SETHI, CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE and janvikas, GUJARAT

      24.  HARSH KAPOOR, DELHI

      25.   Helen Saldanha, cbci, women, New Delhi

      26.   jagori, delhi

      27.   JAIBUNNISA r, bhartiya muslim mahila andolan, tRICHY, TAMIL NADU

      28.   JAMAL KIDWAI, SOCIAL ACTIVIST, AMAN EKTA MANCH, DELHI

      29.   JAMIA TEACHER’S SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION, DELHI

      30.   JAMILA KHAN, bhartiya muslim mahila ANDOLAN, AHMEDABAD, GUJARAT

      31.   JASVEEN JAIRATH, HYDERABAD

      32.   John dayal, MEMBER, NATIONAL INTEGRATION COUNCIL

      33.   KAILASH DANDAPAT, orissa

      34.   KAMAL MITRA CHENOY, PROFESSOR, JNU

      35.   KAMALA BHASIN, ACTIVIST, DELHI 

      36.   Kaveri Gill, independent academic, Delhi

      37.   Kavita krishanan, CPI_ML

      38.   KAVITA SRIVASTAVA, PUCL, rajasthan 

      39.   kedar mishra, poet, writer, bhubaneshwar, orissa 

      40.   KHATUN SHAIKH, bhartiya muslim mahila andolan, MUMBAI

      41.   kunwar danish ali, secretary general, janata dal (secular)

      42.   Leila Passah – National General Secretary – YWCA of India.

      43.  LOPAMUDRA BEHERA, ORISSA

      44.   Madhumita Ray, activist, Bhubaneshwar, Orissa

      45.   MAHESH BHATT, FILMMAKER, PRODUCER, MUMBAI

      46.   MAHESH DATTANI, PLAYWRIGHT, DIRECTOR, MUMBAI

      47.   Mahesh pandya, social activist,  Gujarat

      48.   MANISHA SETHI, JAMIA TEACHER’S SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION, DELHI

      49.   mansi sharma, social activist, delhi

      50.   Maulana Mehmood Madani, Jamait Ul Ulema e Hind

      51.   Maulana Niaz Farooqui, Jamait Ul Ulema e Hind

      52.    MEERA RIZVI, TV PROFESSIONAL, DELHI

      53.   mehtab alam, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, DELHI

      54.   mohd azam, social activist, hyderabad, andhra pradesh 

      55.   Mona Das, University of Delhi, Delhi

      56.   Nalini Taneja, Academic, Delhi

      57.   navsharan singh, researcher, delhi

      58.   NAVAID HAMID, MEMBER, NATIONAL INTEGRATION COUNCIL

      59.   NOORJEHAN SAFIA NIAZ, bhartiya muslim mahila andolan, MUMBAI

      60.   PRAMOD PATTANAIK, ORISSA

      61.   PROF KM SHRIMALI, HISTORIAN

      62.   prof kn panikkar, historian

      63.   Prof Ram Puniyani, Mumbai

      64.   Prof Rooprekha verma, Former Vice Chancellor, UP

      65.   Prof. Chaman Lal (Retd), JNU, New Delhi

      66.   PUNEET SHARMA, FILMMAKER, DELHI

      67.   PUSHPASHREE DEBA, ORISSA

      68.   RAHIMA KHATUN, bhartiya muslim mahila andolan, KOLKATA

      69.   Rajeev yadav, Rihai Manch, Up

      70.   ramjan choudhary, president, mewat vikas sabha, NUH, haryana 

      71.   RITES, MALKANGIRI, ORISSA

      72.   Rupesh, KOSHISH, Patna, Bihar 

      73.   SAFIA AKHTAR, bhartiya muslim mahila ANDOLAN, BHOPAL, mp

      74.   Salar M. Khan, Lawyer, Delhi 

      75.   Saleem Kidwai, Historian and Activist, DELHI

      76.   Samuel Jayakumar,Executive Secretary, National Council of Churches in India

      77.   SAUMYA UMA, MUMBAI

      78.   SEEMA MUSTAFA, JOURNALIST DELHI

      79.   SHABNAM HASHMI, SOCIAL ACTIVIST, ANHAD 

      80.   Shahnawaz Alam, Rihai manch, UP

      81.   SHARANYA NAYAK, ORISSA

      82.   sm hilal, foundation for civil liberties, kanpur, up

      83.   SQ MASOOD, HYDERABAD

      84.   TEHMINA ARORA, Alliance Defending Freedom, India

      85.   uma chakravarti, acadimician, delhi

      86.   usha ramanathan, delhi

      87.   vahida nainar, mumbai

      88.   vineet tiwari, sandarbh, indore, madhya pradesh 

      89.   VRINDA GROVER, ADVOCATE, DELHI

      90.   WAQAR QAZI, SOCIAL ACTIVIST, GUJARAT 

      91.   Zaheer Ali Khan, Hyderabad

      92.   zakia soman, bhartiya muslim mahila andolan, GUJARAT

       




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