Anna’s arrest allowed by law: Chidambaram

August 17th, 2011 - 8:22 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Aug 17 (IANS) Amidst an opposition attack on the government over the arrest of Gandhian Anna Hazare, Home Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday defended the Delhi Police action, saying it was allowed under the law as the civil society activist had expressed his intent to violate prohibitory orders.

Chidambaram, while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on Hazare’s arrest, said under the relevant sections of the criminal laws, preventive arrests were permitted if there was apprehension peace and tranquility would be disturbanced.

As an example, Chidambaram reminded the house of the arrest of senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani in Bihar during his 1990 Rath Yatra by the then Lalu Prasad government.

“Was that arrest also not prohibitory,” Chidambaram asked, even as both Advani and Lalu Prasad, who were present in the house, smiled at the reference.

Lalu Prasad also intervened to remind Chidambaram that currrent Home Secretary R.K. Singh was then the district collector who had got Advani arrested.

Chidambaram also explained that it was not the prime minister or the home minister who decide on preventive and prohibitory arrests, but the local police that did so on the basis of their assessment of the likelihood that peace and tranquility would be disturbed.

Hazare was arrested Tuesday hours before he was to begin his fast-unto-death to press for a strong anti-graft law. He was released the same evening but refused to leave the Tihar Jail till he was allowed to continue his fast without conditions.

The home minister also defended the government on its consultations with Anna Hazare and his team of civil society representatives for drafting the Lokpal Bill, saying the contribution of civil society to legislation was significant.

He gave the examples of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the Right to Information Act and the Right to Education Act that had significant contributions from the civil society.

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