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Jaya opposes 'fascist' communal violence bill

July 29, 2011 15:35 IST
Slamming the draft communal violence bill as "fascist", Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Friday said it would give sweeping powers to the Centre and keep the states under constant threat of dismissal.

In a hard-hitting attack on the proposed bill, Jayalalithaa said that under the garb of preventing communal and targeted violence, the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill was yet another "blatant attempt" to totally bypass the state governments.

The bill concentrates all powers in the Centre rendering the state governments absolutely powerless and totally at the mercy of the Centre, she said in a strongly-worded statement.

Calling it an "undesirable piece of legislation,", she said it was being brought in by a Central regime that was running "out of steam and ideas for survival."

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief said it was the "sacred duty" of all those who believed in democracy to oppose it in toto and throw it out "lock, stock and barrel," at the introduction stage itself.

The bill was aimed at keeping the state governments under the constant threat of dismissal, perhaps because of the Central government's limited capability to use Article 356 of the Constitution in view of a Supreme Court verdict in this regard, the chief minister said.

 The Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill 2011 sought to give "sweeping powers" to the Central government, to the total exclusion of state governments in handling instances of communal and targeted violence, Jayalalithaa said.

She said this vitiated the norms of Centre-state relations envisaged by the Justice Sarkaria Commission.  Section 20, for instance, proposed a "direct assault" on states' autonomy, and was against the spirit of the Constitution, the chief minister added.

It stated that the occurrence of organised communal violence would constitute "internal disturbance," within the meaning of Article 355 (Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance) and would always hang like the "sword of Damocles threatening state governments."

The proposed Bill, likely to be presented in the Parliament in the coming session, has drawn lot of flak with critics of the Bill holding that it was "anti-majority."

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