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 womens 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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