Crime Bill will undermine civil liberties
Also see, The
Peoples Union for Civil Liberties - Karnataka in a memorandum
signed by eminent intellectuals and legal professionals has appealed
to the president Sri. K. R. Narayanan urging him not to give assent to
the Karnataka organized crime bill-2000 which has been passed by the Karnataka
assembly. It has opined that though the bill aims at curbing the menace
of organized crime, it has a damaging mischief undermining the constitutional
rights of the citizens. Under the provisions of the bill, 'promotion of
insurgency" is included under the organized crime without a definition
or a candid explanation. It has been included in the last sentence of
the definition of the organized crime though not mentioned in the preamble.
It has argued that in the general parlance, insurgency means rising in
opposition to a political activity and not an organized crime or punishable
PUCL strongly believes that the political opposition or political agitation
in a democracy is an inherent right of the citizens and cannot be treated
as an offence. Since the word insurgency is not defined or explained,
the law cannot be left to the imagination or the interpretation of the
police or the special courts.
PUCL felt the bill has all the possibilities of 'arbitrariness and misuse
of power'. Without proper checks and balances it has all the trappings
of the notorious TADA.
PUCL has urged the president not to give his assent in the interest of
safeguarding the liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship
which are the are fundamental constitutional rights of citizens.
The appeal has been signed by prof. K. Srinivasan, Prof. K. Ramadas, Prof.
K. Sumithrabai, Major General Vombatkere, Dr. HAB. Parpia, Meera Nayak,
Vanamala Vishwanath, Prof. Syed Bashir Ahmed, Dr. Ramadasrao, Dr. E. Ratirao.
Prof. Muzaffer Assdadi. T.S. Venugopal, P.A. Kumar. Dr. V. Lakshminarayana,
Betta Sundara Bhatta, and others. -- Lakshminarayana