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Tough law to curb discrimination against minorities

New Delhi: In order to protect minorities against discrimination in education, employment and housing the government has drafted a tough law that can impose fines upto Rs five lakh and jail terms of three years for those found violating the law. In this regard, union Minority Affairs Ministry has circulated a draft bill to constitute an Equal Opportunity Commission. The Commission has been constituted keeping in mind the findings of the Sachar Committee that highlighted the discrimination faced by minorities. Among minorities, Muslims were mostly subjected to discrimination as per the findings of the report. The Commission will also have the power to fine Rs 1 lakh per day if the accused does not comply with its rulings. The process to formulate an Equal Opportunity Commission was conceptualised in the National Common Minimum Programme of the UPA-I government as the UPA in its manifesto for the last Lok Sabha elections had promised to do so. Initially, it was emphasised that the panel would provide equality of opportunity in various fields like education and employment for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and religious minorities.” But as of now the Commission will only deal with the issue of minorities and discriminations against them.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 July 2011 on page no. 1

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