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Questioning the timing of bringing the Communal Violence Bill, Narendra Modi on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, describing the proposed legislation as "ill-conceived, poorly drafted and a recipe for disaster".
Terming the bill as an attempt to encroach upon the domain of states, the BJP's PM candidate sought wider consultations among various stakeholders, such as state governments, political parties, police and security agencies, before making any move on the issue.
Modi's letter comes on the morning of beginning of the winter session of Parliament in which the bill is likely to be taken up.
"Communal Violence Bill is ill-conceived, poorly drafted and a recipe for disaster," Modi said in his letter.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said, "the timing to bring the bill is suspicious owing to political considerations and vote bank politics, rather than genuine concerns".
Expressing strong concern that the proposed legislation would further divide people on religious and linguistic lines, Modi said, "religious and linguistic identities would become more reinforced and even ordinary incidents of violence would be given a communal colour thus giving the opposite result of what the bill intends to achieve".
He also brought out various "operational issues" in the proposed Prevention of Communal Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2013.
"For example, Section 3(f) that defines 'hostile environment', is wide-ranging, vague and open to misuse. Likewise, the definition of communal violence under Section 3 (d) read with Section 4 would raise questions on whether the Centre is introducing the concept of 'thought crime' in the context of the Indian criminal jurisprudence," the letter said.
Modi wrote in his letter to the PM that these provisions have not been examined from the view of the Evidence Act. "The move to make public servants, police and security agencies criminally liable can adversely impact the morale of
our law and order enforcement agencies and it may also make them vulnerable to political victimisation," Modi said.
He also criticised the manner in which the Centre was bringing the communal violence bill, saying it showed no consideration for the nation's federal structure.
"Law and order is an issue under the State List and (if) it is something that would have to be implemented by the state governments, then it should be legislated by the state governments," the letter said.
Modi said if there was something the Centre wished to share, it was free to prepare a "model bill" and circulate it among