Tag Archives: Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Latest Amendment in SC/ST Atrocities Act and its fallout

Lalit Shastri

Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) has been imposed in five districts of Madhya Pradesh ahead of the nationwide bandh (strike) on 6 September called by a number of organisations opposing the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Amendment Bill passed in Parliament in August 2018.

In poll-bound Madhya Pradesh, Section 144 has been imposed in Gwalior (city), besides Shivpuri, Guna Bhind and Ashok Nagar districts.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in Lok Sabha on 3 April 2018 after large-scale violence and arson in some parts of the country that he could fully appreciate that there was widespread anger among the people, following the Supreme Court order (of March 20, 2018) that provided for a protective mechanism under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, permitted anticipatory bail and made it mandatory for a preliminary inquiry within seven days by the Dy. S.P. concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the PoA and that arrest in appropriate cases could be made only after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police.

The Home Minister had reassured the House that there had been no dilution of the PoA Act by the BJP led NDA Government, rather after coming to power and examining the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, a decision had been taken to strengthen it.

Immediately after the judgement of Supreme Court, the Union Government was quick in filing a review petition in the Supreme Court.

The Modi Government did not delay its act in this matter and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill,2018 was passed by the Lok Sabha on 6 August 2018 and three days later also by Rajya Sabha.

Section 18A has been inserted in the PoA Act to nullify conduct of a preliminary inquiry before registration of an FIR, or to seek approval of any authority prior to arrest of an accused, and to restore the provisions of Section 18 of the Act.

Section 18A, inserted in the Act, states that:-

(1) For the purpose of the PoA Act:

(a) preliminary inquiry shall not be required for registration of a First Information Report against any person; or

(b) the investigating officer shall not require approval for arrest, if necessary, of any person, against whom an accusation of having committed an offence under the PoA Act has been made and no procedure other than provided under the PoA Act or the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, shall apply.

(2) The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under the Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.

While Section 438 of the CrPC deals with direction for grant of bail to a person apprehending arrest. Under section 18A (2) of PoA, “The provision of section 438 of the Code shall not apply to a case under this Act, notwithstanding any judgment or order or direction of any Court.”

Earlier the PoA Act was amended in January, 2016. Rule 3 of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995, specifies precautionary and preventive measures to be taken by the State Government.

Rule 7(1) of the PoA Act specifies that an offence committed under the PoA Act, shall be investigated by a police officer not below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (Dy.S.P.). Rule 7(2) of the Rules stipulates that the Investigating Officer shall complete the investigation on top priority within thirty days and submit the report to the Superintendent of Police who in turn will immediately forward the report to the Director General of Police of the State Government.

Section of 14 of the PoA Act, specifies that for the purpose of providing for speedy trial, the State Government shall, with the concurrence of the Chief Justice of the High Court, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify for each district a Court of Session to be a Special Court to try the offences under this Act. Accordingly, State Governments and Union Territory Administrations of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, NCT of Delhi and Puducherry have designated District Session Courts as Special Courts. Further, to accelerate the pace of trial of cases under the PoA Act, 192 exclusive Special Courts have also been set up by the States namely Andhra Pradesh (13), Bihar (11), Chhattishgarh (6), Gujarat (26), Karnataka (8), Kerala (2), Maharashtra (2), Madhya Pradesh (43), Rajasthan (25), Tamil Nadu (4), Telangana (10), Uttar Pradesh (40) and Uttarakhand (2).

For dealing with false cases under the PoA Act, relevant Sections of the IPC can be invoked by the concerned agencies.

The directions of the Supreme Court in its judgment earlier this year in Criminal Appeal No. 416 of 2018 (Dr. Subhash Kashinath Mahajan Vs the State of Maharashtra and Another) amounted to amending the PoA Act.

The apex Court said that an accused person was entitled to anticipatory bail and directed that preliminary inquiry should be conducted within seven days by the Dy. S.P. concerned to find out whether the allegations make out a case under the PoA Act and that arrest in appropriate cases may be made only after approval by the Senior Superintendent of Police.

Pointing out that there was a large-scale misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, the court held that an arrest is not mandatory under the SC/ST Act, and the automatic arrest was scrapped.

The Supreme Court said that the implementation of PoA Act “should not result in perpetuating casteism which can have an adverse impact on the integration of society and constitutional values”.

 

NRC is being updated in Assam as per the Assam Accord: Rajnath Singh

Newsroom24x7 Network

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today declared that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in Assam in accordance with the Assam Accord signed on 15 August, 1985.

In a statement, the Home Minister today said that the entire process of updating the NRC is being carried out as per directions of the Supreme Court which is constantly monitoring the process.

Singh has given the assurance that the NRC exercise is being carried out in a totally impartial, transparent and meticulous manner and will continue to be so. At every stage of the process, adequate opportunity of being heard is given to all persons. The entire process is being conducted according to law and due procedure is being followed.

He furthr said that every individual will get justice and will be treated in a humane manner. All individuals will have sufficient opportunity for all remedies available under the law.

The Government, Singh has stated, wants to make it clear that the NRC to be published on 30 July is only a draft. After draft publication, adequate opportunity for claims and objections will be available. All claims and objections will be duly examined. Adequate opportunity of being heard will be given before disposal of claims and objections. Only thereafter, final NRC will be published.

The Citizenship Rules provide that any person who is not satisfied with the outcome of claims and objections can appeal in the Foreigner’s Tribunal. Thus, there is no question of anyone being put in a detention centre after the publication of NRC, Singh has stated in categorical terms.

Further, the Home Minister has informed the public that State Government of Assam has been asked to ensure that law & order is maintained and no one is allowed to take law into their hands and all possible arrangements are made to ensure safety and security for all. There is no reason for panic or fear. No person will be allowed to be harassed. Central Govt. will provide all necessary help to the Govt. of Assam in this regard.

Rajnath Singh on 4-day visit to J&K: Reviews PM’s Development Package and rehabilitation plan for Kashmiri Pandits

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh meeting Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti, in Srinagar on September 09, 2019.

Srinagar: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has asked authorities in Jammu and Kashmir to expedite implementation of the PM’s Development Package in a time bound manner.

Singh arrived in Srinagar today on a four-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir. He was received at the airport by state’s Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Nirmal Kumar Singh, senior minister Abdul Rehman Veeri and Senior Officials of the State Government.

“I am going there with an open mind and I am willing to meet anyone who will help us in finding solutions to problems facing J&K,” said Singh in a tweet before leaving for Srinagar.

On his arrival, the Union Home Minister had an hour long one-on-one meeting wih Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Singh later reviewed the status of implementation of the Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) for Jammu and Kashmir with the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, Chief Secretary of J&K BB Vyas and Senior Officers of the MHA and State Government.

The Union Home Minister asked the authorities to expedite the implementation of the PMDP in a time bound manner. Singh said it will create jobs for the people of J&K.

The PMDP, a Rs.80,068 crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015, covers 63 projects pertaining to 15 Ministries of the Government of India. The Union Government has already sanctioned Rs.63,000 crores for the various projects, which amounts to 78 percent of the total cost of the PMDP package. An amount of nearly Rs.22,000 crore has been released.

Nearly two years after the PMDP-2015 was announced, five of its 63 projects have been completed. These include the prestigious Chenani-Nashri tunnel costing Rs.781 crore, announcement of remuneration to Special Police Officers (SPOs) from Rs.3,000 per month to Rs.6,000 per month as well as assistance provided for houses damaged during the 2014 flood.

Land acquisition in respect of semi-Ring Roads in Jammu and Srinagar will be completed within two months. The four-laning of Jammu-Udhampur section of National Highway, NH-1A, is nearing completion. Nineteen road connectivity projects costing about Rs.43,000 crore are under implementation in the State.

An investment of about Rs.5,810 crore is being made in teh power sector to improve the transmission and distribution network in the state. Besides, the Central Government is supporting the State with an investment of Rs.3,790 crore on Pakaldul hydroelectric project.

For the construction of AIIMS at Awantipora and Jammu, Rs.2,000 crore each are being made available and an amount of nearly Rs.91 crore has been released. Besides, IIT, Jammu and IIM, Jammu have already started functioning from temporary campus and the setting up of permanent campus is under progress. Similarly under the Health Sector, Rs.900 crore is available for completion of ongoing health infrastructure. Rs.200 crore has been utilized. The work on the comprehensive management of Jhelum was reviewed and found satisfactory. The DPR for Phase-II is being prepared. The rehabilitation plan for migrants of Jammu, PoK and Kashmiri Pandits was also reviewed. It was noted with satisfaction that the projects are progressing satisfactorily. During the meeting, other developmental projects under Urban Development, Solar Energy, Horticulture, Tourism etc were also reviewed. The Chief Minister assured the State Government’s full support in the implementation of the PMDP and on all other fronts.

Later during the day, 24 delegations representing different organizations, including social, trade, travel and business from across Kashmir Valley called on Singh. These included Travel Agents’ Association of Kashmir (TAAK), Kashmir Hotels and Restaurants Associations, Kashmir Shikara Association, House Boat Owners Association, and various other Tourism sector organizations, Youth delegation, Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), Sikh delegation, Fruit Growers & Dealers Association, JK Shia Association, All Gujjjar & Bakerwal Conference, Pahari association and Self employed Women Association.

 

Problem of Left Wing Extremism cannot be solved by any silver bullet: Rajnath Singh

Newsroom24x7 Staff

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other dignitaries standing in silence as a mark of respect towards brave martyrs of the recent Maoist attack, during the meeting to review the Left Wing Extremism (LWE) situation, in New Delhi on May 08, 2017.

New Delhi: The whole country is agitated with the martyrdom of 25 CRPF personnel in the incident of April 24, 2017 in Sukma district of Chhattisgarh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said while stating that he is concerned but not perturbed by the attack on the CRPF Camp by the Left Wing Extremists.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairing the meeting with the Chief Ministers to review the security issues to deal with Left Wing Extremism (LWE), in New Delhi on May 08, 2017. Ministers of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir and Kiren Rijiju and National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval are also seen.

In such situations, the challenge before us is to maintain focus and move towards our goal with speed and in a planned manner, the Home Minister said and went on to underscore the point that it is not possible to solve the problem of Left Wing Extremism with any silver bullet.

Rajnath Singh was addressing a review meeting of Left Wingh Extremism affected States. In his opeaning remarks, he said that the meeting has been convened to jointly understand the different aspects of Left Wing Extremism with the 10 affected States, so that Left Wing Extremism can be countered with full force and competence.

Left Wing Extremism desires to weaken and make the roots of democracy hollow in India – the largest democracy in the world, said Singh adding efforts to suppress democracy through the influence of the gun will never succeed.

Rolling out figures, Singh said, 12000 citizens of our country have lost their lives in violent activities of the Left Wing Extremists. Out of these 12000 people, 2700 are jawans of the Security Forces and the remaining 9300 are innocent and simple common people who are not guilty. The anti-development Left Wing Extremism not only target the Security Forces but also public property like roads, culverts, railway tracks, electricity and telephone towers, hospitals, schools, anganwadi and panchayat bhawans that are created by the Government for benefit of the common man.

Solution – “Samadhan”

The Home Minister said that the solution to the problem of Left Wing Extremism is not possible with any silver bullet. There is no short-cut for it. For this short term, medium term and long term policies need to be formulated at different levels. There is need to find a solution for this problem and the strategy is available and encompassed in the word ‘SAMADHAN’ which means:

S- Smart Leadership, A- Aggressive Strategy, M- Motivation and Training, A- Actionable Intelligence, D- Dashboard Based KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and KRAs (Key Result Areas), H- Harnessing Technology, A- Action plan for each Theatre, N- No access to Financing

Click here for full text of Home Minister’s opening remarks during the Inaugural Session of the Review Meeting of Left Wing Extremism affected States: