The 13-page Action Taken Report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, along with the report of the Liberhan Commission that probed the Babri Masjid demolition, said the government accepted the recommendation for a law to prevent misuse of religion.

The government “accepted” recommendation 1.7 and 1.9 that “a special separate law providing exemplary punishment for misuse of religion, caste, etc.,” and that there was need for “swift prosecution and effective implementation of the law…”

The government also accepted a recommendation that the Election Commission must take serious note of complaints by citizens of misuse of religious sentiments by political parties through an appeal to their faith. The ATR says the government will refer the matter to the Election Commission.

It said enactment of a Communal Violence Bill to prevent and control riots and setting up special courts to deal with them were under consideration.

The ATR makes no reference to the indictment of top BJP leaders, including L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Kalyan Singh and leaders of various Sangh Parivar outfits made in the report.

The Commission said the Constitutional scheme to separate religion from politics was intended to insulate issues of governance from those of theology.

The government said it would “take steps to expedite” the hearing of existing cases related to the demolition of the Babri Masjid in the special courts in Rae Bareli and Lucknow.

The recommendations cover 19 pages and are grouped under seven main heads, each with several clauses. There is no specific recommendation to prosecute anyone.

The report itself indicts 68 persons but the recommendations do not point to even a single name fit for prosecution or any other action.

In response to recommendations relating to weeding out communal elements in recruitment to civil and police services and not allowing them to seek political patronage, the government simply “noted” the recommendation and said the procedure of review of an officer’s performance would be strengthened.

The government agreed with the recommendation that the Parliament, the Legislatures, the elected governments and the political parties themselves must rededicate themselves to ensuring a secular India, whether by strengthening existing provisions in the Codes of Conduct or in election related laws. The ATR says, “whether the code of conduct and whether election-related laws require amendments will be referred to the Election Commission.”

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