Communal Violence Bill will divide country: Justice Patil

Communal Violence Bill will divide country: Justice Patil

Warning that the country would be divided into groups if the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill was enacted, retired Supreme Court judge Shivaraj V Patil said existing laws need to be strengthened instead of enacting new laws.

He was speaking at a national-level seminar on ‘Indian Constitution: Protecting the rights of minority and majority’ organised by JSS Law College and Akhila Bharatha Sharana Sahitya Parishat at JSS Women’s College here on Monday.

Observing that law-makers need to consider if the Bill was within the frame of principles of the Constitution, Justice Patil said, “Any law in conflict (with the Constitution), would be struck down.”

He said existing laws such as Indian Penal Code (IPC), Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), SC/ST Atrocity Act, Protection of Civil Rights Act may be strengthened instead of the proposed Bill. “We have many laws, but the problem is with exercising them,” he said.

The Bill, which proposes formation of a national authority comprising seven members, would run parallel to the state government and hence lead to conflict. “In terms of criminal jurisprudence it is inconsistent,” he added.

Stating that feelings of a part of the society would be hurt, he said, “The feeling that some are more equal than equals,” would divide the country.

He said the Bill would bear a negative impact on secularity, equality, unity and equality, which are enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution.

Citing the example of 17 Bills being passed within 12 minutes by the Parliament, Patil said elected representatives have to debate the issue before enacting laws.
Minister for parliamentary affairs S Suresh Kumar echoed the views of Justice Patil.

While the Centre is rooting for inclusive growth in the financial policy, the Bill is a case of ‘exclusive growth.’

Suttur mutt seer Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra, Jnanayogashrama seer Sri Siddeshwara, MLC Thontadarya and others were present.

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