A new draft bill on communal violence prepared by the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council would enable the centre to intervene in cases of communal or targeted violence, and also make officials more accountable for such violence, if it is adopted by Parliament.
It provides for the creation of a national authority and the state authorities to bring erring public officials to account as well as to ensure justice and reparation in the wake of violence.
The NAC placed the draft Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Repatriation) bill, 2011 on its website on Friday for public comment. It has also been sent to the union ministries of home affairs and law and justice for their comments.
The bill permits the central government to declare any case of communal violence an 'internal disturbance' under Article 355 of the Constitution, and take actions accordingly.
Article 355 states, "It shall be the duty of the union to protect every state against external aggression and internal disturbance and ensure the government of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution."
However, the centre has been reluctant to interfere directly in communal disturbances as 'law and order' is under the jurisdiction of the states, which guard their rights zealously in this respect.