BJP State Secretary Aswathaman lies about the Congress 2013 PCTV bill!

The viral claim lies that Congress has brought a law that Muslims and Christians should not be prosecuted.

Claim

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Explanation

The widely circulated video on social media purports that the Congress administration sought to pass the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (PCTV) bill in favor of Muslims in 2013. According to the viral clip, “Muslims are the ones who can use this law against Hindus. The new law does not apply to Muslims, who are exempt from prosecution for acts of violence and hate speech directed towards Hindus.

Thus, in India, only Hindus should be the target of a formal complaint (FIR) in the event of a riot. In 2013, Congress brought a bill that would not file an FIR against Christians or Muslims.” One can view a similar claim spread by Tamil Nadu BJP’s state secretary Ashwathaman going viral on Instagram here.

What’s the truth?

Let’s first examine what the PCTV Bill is and what it says.

What is the 2013 PCTV Bill?

The PCTV bill was brought for the first time in 2005 and sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. Subsequently, the report of the Standing Committee was submitted to Parliament in 2006. But for many years the bill did not make any progress.

In this case, in 2011, the National Advisory Council gave a draft bill to the same law with some changes. The then-Congress coalition government announced that the bill introduced in 2005 would be withdrawn and a new bill would be introduced in the parliament in February 2014. However, the Bill was deferred due to opposition in the Rajya Sabha

What is said in the bill?

The purpose of this bill was to suppress caste and religious riots and to prevent planned attacks on the marginalized in society. Section 3 (c & e) of this Act makes it clear.

In particular, “communal and targeted violence” means and includes any act or series of acts, whether spontaneous or planned, resulting in injury or harm to the person and or property, knowingly directed against any person by his or her membership of any group, which destroys the secular fabric of the nation;

Section 3 (c) of ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011’

Further Section (e) defines ‘group’ as religious minorities, linguistic minorities, and persons belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in a State.

Section 3 (e) of ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011’

The bill seeks to prevent violence against religious and linguistic minorities and people belonging to oppressed sections. This Act would have been used to punish those involved.

But the BJP and the right-wing are against this bill saying that it is against Hindus. This law says that only Hindus are involved in violent activities. They argued then that Hindus will suffer the most if this law comes. This is a heresy as well as a misunderstanding. Later, this division continued when Congress introduced a bill that was exclusive to Hindus. A misleading concept has been created and actively propagated by this Act that in case of riots, only Hindus will be prosecuted and Muslims and Christians will not be prosecuted.

Shouldn’t FIR be filed against minorities?

According to this Bill, there are four categories of people who are classified as ‘group’.

  • Religious minorities
  • Linguistic minorities
  • Scheduled Caste (SC)
  • Tribal (ST)

The viral claim states that this law is only applicable to religious minorities, completely hiding the fact that apart from religious minorities, linguistic minorities and SC/ST people are also Hindus. Moreover, the claim falsely misleads that the Bill says that no FIR should be filed against Christians and Muslims for any crime that no case should be filed even if they commit murder, and that the Bill says that only Hindus should be prosecuted. The assertions that have gone viral are untrue, and this Act does not contain any such section.

Also, if a riot occurs, a case will be filed against the offender under appropriate sections of the Indian Penal Code. Everyone will face legal action regardless of their religious or caste affiliation. That is, if the aforesaid sections are affected in the riot, a case will also be filed under the appropriate sections under this Act. That’s all.

The above castes are the most susceptible to caste and religious riots, so the Act was only meant to offer an extra layer of protection. Conversely, this Act makes no mention of their being found not guilty of the crime they committed.

According to the viral claim, Section 7 of the bill states that all Hindus should be considered criminals if a Muslim woman is sexually assaulted, and that no action should be taken against Muslims if a Hindu woman is sexually assaulted. Similarly, they noted that under Article 42, no action should be taken against Hindus during the riots even if Muslims make false allegations against them.

Unfortunately, there are no such provisions in the sections.

Conclusion:

Nowhere in the Bill brought by the Congress has it been said that in case of riots, only Hindus can be prosecuted and Muslims and Christians cannot be prosecuted.

The purpose of the law is to guarantee the safety of those who belong to minority languages, castes, and religions. The law does not only apply to Christians and Muslims.

 

Link:

NAC_Draft_Communal_Violence_Bill_2011

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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