K-CSDS Gives PC, Ashwini Law Lesson On Verma Panel Remarks

SRINAGAR: Terming the union law and finance ministers’ statements on the Justice Verma recommendations as “shockers,” a prominent civil society group, the Kashmir Centre for Social and Developmental Studies (K-CSDS), on Wednesday said that the top Indian government figures had undermined the “claim and oath” of upholding fundamental rights of citizens.

“The KCSDS takes strong exception to the riders that have been attached to accepting of the Verma Committee  recommendations in totality by the  central government. The first shocker came from law minister Ashwani  Kumar  - who is otherwise supposed to be very soft and humane  - when he made the outrageous statement that carried implicit approval of rape in ‘ the line of duty,’” the group said in a statement today.

“And yet another deplorable statement came from the suave and articulate minister, P  Chidambram,   that broad consensus is needed to accept the  recommendations on the  review of AFSPA. Do we need to remind the legal luminary that AFSPA VIOLATES THE NON-DEROGABLE  PROVISIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW  INCLUDING THE RIGHT TO LIFE , THE RIGHT TO BE FREE  FROM arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and from torture and cruel , inhuman  or degrading punishment  as enshrined  in the International Covenant  on Civil and Political  Rights(ICCPR)  to which  India is signatory  It also violates Article 21 in particular and Articles  19,20 and 22 of   the Indian constitution which set forth the fundamental   rights including  the right to constitutional remedies  for enforcement of fundamental rights which are non-negotiable,” it said.

“Do we need to remind  him  that the enforcement of fundamental rights including  women’s right to safety and security and dignity is in no way  subject to the approval or consensus of  so-called security forces  or politicians  who have enabled   armed forces to trample  over these rights  without being accountable,” it said.

“The consensus on the application or enforcement of fundamental rights is enshrined , and implicit in the constitution and reiterated by every parliament member when  he or she takes an oath   of office  to act according to constitutional provisions. By making the acceptance of the specific recommendations on AFSPA  conditional  to the approval of  those who have grossly violated the  fundamental rights of citizens on the one hand and to those who have enabled the  violations through the approval of AFSPA, the minister has, in effect, undermined  the claim and oath of standing by the fundamental rights of citizens which cannot be tolerated any longer  as the Indian civil society  now perceives including the Justice Verma Committee that there is no justification of the continuance of AFSPA  ESPECIALLY THE IMPUNITY IT ACCORDS TO THE Armed Forces  against being prosecuted  in ordinary criminal courts,” it said.

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