The reported decision of the Union Cabinet to exempt religious charitable societies and trusts from the purview of the Jan Lokpal Bill will be against national interests and the secular concepts embodied in the Constitution, the Joint Christian Council has said.

Seeking revocation of the decision, the Council has submitted memorandums to the Union Law Minister, Defence Minister, Leader of the Opposition, and president of the United Progressive Alliance, and leaders of various political parties.

Anto Kokkat, general secretary of the Joint Christian Council, said that the Jan Lokpal Bill would not be able to tackle fraud in the education and health sectors if the trusts and societies were exempted from its purview.

“Religious trusts run educational institutions and hospitals. They reportedly collect huge amounts for appointments in and admissions to educational institutions. Several cases of fraud have been reported in this connection. Cases have also been registered against religious organisations that allegedly indulge in foreign exchange fraud and human trafficking,” he added.

The Council said the newly constituted single benches in the High Courts should collect and publish statistics of the cases of deaths after rape.

“Such cases pending settlement in various benches in High Courts should be transferred to the newly constituted bench. In rape and murder cases, there may be no eyewitness. Hence, narco-analysis tests should be introduced. The government should seek special exemption from a clause of the ruling of the Supreme Court that narco-analysis tests be conducted with the prior approval of the accused,” said Mr Kokkat.

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