New Delhi: The much talked about Communal
Violence Bill is all set to be introduced in Parliament in a
new stronger format, Government indicated on Friday.
Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said that
the bill could be having "standardisation of compensation" but
refused to go into details before the bill is brought before
The bill had earlier run into controversy. Congress
President Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council had last
year decided to completely recast the bill, which had got
mired in a protracted debate between civil society and the
bureaucracy. The bill was redrafted by a sub-group of NAC.
Addressing a conference of state minority commissions
here, Khurshid said, "As far as the Communal Violence Bill is
concerned, it has gone many miles ahead (from what was earlier
proposed). It is in its last few steps."
He added, "great deal of inputs have been provided. A
very attractive communal violence bill is to soon come before
Parliament after Cabinet`s approval..a very good bill is
The minister said that the NAC, Home Ministry and Law
Ministry have worked very hard on the bill and very important
suggestions by NGOs have also been incorporated in the bill.
On a delegate`s demand for fixiing accountablity of
officers wrongly implicating persons belonging to minority
communities in false cases, Khurshid said that though he
cannot disclose the provisions in the new bill, he sought to
assure that "a fairly reasonable and satisfactory bill will
The bill aims at checking communal violence more
effectively and to ensure stricter punishment for the
perpetrators. The bill, which was first drafted in 2005 in the
wake of the Gujarat riots, had got stuck in arguments between
civil society groups and the government.
Referring to arrest of the `innocent` Muslim youths in
the Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blast cases, the minister said
that the governmet would do anything through "institutional
process" in this regard.
On the sidelines of the programme, NCM Chairman
Wajahat Habibullah told reporters that he had a talk with the
CBI officials in this regard.
Habibullah said that since Muslim youths arrested in
connection with Malegaon blasts continue to languish behind
bars despite a confession of Swami Aseemanand to the contrary,
the Commission is making efforts for the release of the
Habibullah hoped that the bail applications of the
youths would be accepted by the court during hearing in view
of the new facts emerging.
The NCM`s initiative comes in wake of repeated demands
by a number of Muslim organizations for the release of these
youths who were arrested immediately after the blast.