CHRI and PRW question the Maha Govt need for new proposed security legislation, Mumbai, Aug 26: The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and Police Reforms Watch seriously question both the necessity and the justification for another new internal security law as proposed by the Maharashtra government’s Protection of Internal Security Bill 2016. We are particularly concerned with the wide scope of the Bill.  Created purportedly to deal with multiple security challenges, the State once again bestows more and more sweeping powers on the executive and the police, all without the requisite accountability. 

The omnibus Bill tries to deal with challenges of “terrorism, insurgency, communalism, caste violence, etc” all in one legislation and does not differentiate between the nature of the threats from each. Specific laws are already in place to deal with many of these matters. In order to bring every kind of threat under one law, the Bill relies on dangerously vague catch-all definitions, which are totally insufficient to further justify criminalisation or prohibition. It is equally alarming that the Bill gives the state government and police sweeping discretionary powers in the absence of sufficient checks or accountability for abuse of power. Read More