India Intelligence Report
 

Communal Violence Victims to get 7 lakhs

 

The Federal Home Minister Shivraj Patil said that the Communal Violence (Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims) Bill is likely to be implemented in three months. The concept of this Bill is not to prevent communal violence but to empower district level administration officials to provide grants to victims of such violence without waiting for court judgments. This bill will even cover victims of terrorism and also provide the right to the victim to participate in the trial. A base figure of Rs.7 lakhs is being targeted as compensation for victims. Opponents to this bill say that this will provide extra jurisdiction to the Federal Government over the State Governments and therefore eroded the federal nature of governance. Other also say that these funds may be misused by district and state level politicians to create vote banks, provide entitlements for supporters, and means to buy support of certain sections of the populations thereby exacerbating the problem of communal disharmony. Further, this law may also short-change due process by empowering State Governments to harass opponents using bogus charges. Previous communal violence in the country are pending before courts as investigative and prosecution agencies are unable to identify perpetrators, prove culpability and effect justice. It is unclear how this bill will solve this basic problem.
In order to reduce the confusion and 100 odd lawsuits around educational institutions, the Supreme Court (SC) asked the Government to outline the implication of its earlier judgment. The SC had earlier ruled that admissions to Government-aided minority and non-minority educational institutions be regulated through a common entrance tests. It had also ruled the unaided institutions had an unfettered Constitutional right to choose the students appropriate to its requirements as long as the admission process was fair. It had also banned a capitation fee, a large deposit by students admitted to the school, in aided institutions. Last month, in a virtual unanimous consent, the Parliament passed a Bill that allowed reservation for scheduled castes and scheduled tribe candidates in non-minority unaided colleges. The Constitutional propriety of that bill is still being debated.

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