New Hartal Bill Gives Government Sweeping Powers

The draft ‘Hartal Regulation Bill - 2015’, a copy of which is with the ‘Express’, states that the government can impose ban on ‘some hartals’.

Published: 25th November 2015 02:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2015 02:35 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI: The new Hartal Regulation Bill, which is to be placed in the winter session of the Assembly that begins on November 30, has outlined sweeping powers for the government, including a proposal to ban some hartals.

The draft ‘Hartal Regulation Bill - 2015’, a copy of which is with the ‘Express’, states that the government can impose ban on ‘some hartals’, if it would affect emergency services such as hospital, health clinic, medical shop, pharmacy and ambulance service; and distribution of milk, newspaper, fish, water and food.

NERW.jpgSome of the other requirements as per the new draft Bill are three-day advance notice through leading newspapers before conduct of the hartal and mandatory deposit of advance amount by parties/organisations which organise the hartal - as compensation for any possible damage to life and property during the protest.

Another important condition in the Bill is that hartal should not be conducted before 6.00 am and after 6.00 pm, which would bring relief to the common man from the ‘24-hour hartals’ held frequently in the State.

Confederation of Indian Industry (Kerala)  chairman Harikrishnan R Nair said there are many positives in the Bill, particularly recognising the fact that hartals cause loss, and making those who organise such protests accountable.

As per the draft Bill, hartals should not, in anyway, disrupt the smooth functioning of Central organisations, educational establishments and charitable institutions.

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