PETITION TO Smt. SONIA GANDHI

Petition to Smt. Sonia Gandhi

20.07.2009

To,

Smt.Sonia Gandhi,

UPA Chairperson,

New Delhi

Sub: Proposed legislation for prevention of man-made tragedies in Public Places

Bhopal Gas Tragedy: Year 1984: over 10,000 dead.

Dabwali Fire Tragedy: Year 1995: 452 school-going children dead.

Uphaar Fire Tragedy Delhi: Year 1997: 59 dead and more than a hundred injured.

Fire tragedy at mental asylum, Erwadi: Year 2001: 25 dead

Kumbakonam School fire tragedy:  Year 2004: 90 primary school children dead.

Victoria Park Fire tragedy, Meerut: Year 2006: 50 dead.

Different places, different tragedies – Apart from the number of casualties being different, there is one common thread that runs through each of the aforesaid mass tragedies that has rocked our nation in the last quarter of a century – all of them were man-made.

Each of the above occurrences represents man’s never-ending greed and/or intentional ignorance to public safety laws. They are also indicative of the fact that probably we have learnt nothing from these tragedies. It would be interesting to analyse as to what happened to the perpetrators of such unpardonable crimes. How many of them were punished and to what extent. The answer is bound to be shameful.

Under our prevalent system, such offenders are booked under section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code which translates into causing death due to rash and negligent act. It is by itself a mockery of our legal system that someone who causes the deaths of hundreds and thousands just to satiate his greed, is charged with only rashness and negligence. The irony of the situation is that even the said provision is classified as ‘bailable’, meaning thereby that unless an accused is convicted, there is no fear of his being incarcerated, irrespective of the number deaths  he may have caused. Being a popular notion that criminal trials in our country never get over, still, if someone’s misfortune gets him convicted for the said offence, he need not worry as he is bound to get relief from the appellate courts, since the maximum imprisonment provided is a mere two years. In this grim scenario, incidents of such catastrophic magnitude are bound to recur since there is no legal deterrence that can instill fear in the minds of possible wrongdoers.

The need of the hour is to have an appropriate legislation to tackle such man-made calamities and put in place an appropriate investigative and judicial mechanism that compels future offenders to think twice before indulging in acts of omission or commission that can endanger human life. The legislation must prescribe the mandatory stipulations that need to be met with by owners, occupiers and/or builders of places inhabited and/or visited by public at large. Strict adherence to public safety norms and rules/regulations thereto, must be ensured through this legislation. Not only should adequate punishment be prescribed for the offenders but care must also be taken that the punishment is of such a nature and degree that it has the necessary preventive effect.

We also propose the formation of a National Public Safety Commission which already exists in many countries, if you are kind enough to give us an audience we are willing to make an appropriate presentation on the National Public Safety Commission already existing in countries like Canada, UK, Japan and South Korea.

We are sure that your goodself will be gracious enough to consider these suggestions and take requisite steps to put in place a proper mechanism which can hopefully prevent another man-made adversity.

-Neelam Krishnamoorthy
President, AVUT
on behalf of all the members of AVUT.


If you would like to support this petition, please post your support using the comment form below. AVUT sincerely thanks you for your support.

132 thoughts on “PETITION TO Smt. SONIA GANDHI

  1. I support this petition strongly.

    The National Disaster Management Authority was created after the tsunami. However, its mandate seems to be more towards natural disasters. The need is to subsume man made disasters under its purview for a national policy and preparadness for man made disasters.

  2. Along with appropriate legislation AVUT and all those who support them in their endeavor, we,as common people should also help promote awareness around us to stand against any violation of norms, whether it be safety related or otherwise.

    I fully endorse the petition and support AVUT in its endeavor.
    Vasanthi

  3. Unfortunately we need legislation to make us responsible citizens. Unfortunately those who kill hundreds and thousands of people in their greed can get away with minimal punishment. Unfortunately our reaction as a nation to all calamities is simply knee-jerk — and we get angry with our knee for jerking. Systems, not babudoms, are necessary to enforce a change in attitude, towards our fellow-citizens, towards our environment. All of must support AVUT in this petition to bring about a meaningful systemic change.

  4. Time to change the attitude towards life. All life is important, any loss due to carelessness should not be acceptable.

  5. I wholeheartedly support this petition.
    We as citizens of India deserve to feel safe, be protected and have faith in the government.

  6. I support the association –and something needs to be done for the manmade tragedies that take place scarring our lives

  7. It is a pity that a nation which prides on Gandhi’s principle of showing the other cheek is becoming the most intolerant in most of our day-to-day affairs, whether it is on the roads or with fellow citizens, while has to suffer patiently for such mega tragedies with the laws not providing for the safeguards of the citizens.

    A very notable cause, and I fully support this petition.

  8. These mass murderers are even worse and a bigger threat to our society than Terrorists. they should be punished ( an eye for an eye )

  9. Dear Neelam & Krishnamurthy
    I fully support this petition and hope that the govt. wakes up and takes quick action.I am always with you both in your endeavour
    lalitha subramanian

  10. I fully back this petition. AVUT is doing a great job and thank you for keeping us from slipping into ignorant slumber ever so often. High time we began to value what matters most – human lives!

  11. i totally support avut as safety against man made tragedies is very necessary and a legislation should be passed in this context

  12. I Fully support this petition. My full support is for AVUT and issues taken up by them.I hope that the govt. wakes up and takes quick action atleast now.

  13. I support this petition completely. We in India have a very lackadaisical attitude to safety. And when something goes wrong we take a fatalistic attitude. This is not right. Government has a responsibility to its citizens to provide basic infrastructure for safety.

  14. I fully support this petition and seek stricter norms for public safety and accountability, with faster justice for such incidents to be a stronger deterrent for those who flout safety norms. We Indians need to value life in a socially equal platform, and every life needs to be valued more than what we presently do. Formation of the National Public Safety Commission with a valued voice in the judicial system will just be a good beginning to enhance value of life in India.

  15. I support AVUT’s fight against man made tragedies and request the president to make more stringent laws to avert such tragedies in future. Atul

  16. It is rather unfortunate that for our basic rights we need to put petition in our country,
    it is high time the goverment wake up on these issue!
    I support AVUT’s fight against man made tragedies and request the hon president bring in new legislation to make more stringent laws to avert such tragedies in future.
    I am sure you will succeed bravo!
    SWAMINATHAN

  17. I strongly supoort this petition ,its high time leaders take some action as the tragedies above clearly state that there have been enough eye openers infront of the people of our country .

  18. I whole heartedly support this petition.

    Those who have money power are delaying the justice procedure. They should not be allowed to take shelter of law for hiding themselves. UPAHAR tragedy type of cases should be settled within a shortest period of time.

  19. the persons responsible for such disater must be for to pay for entire medical expenses. the act should be non-bailable, the punishment must be examplary. the govt official directly or indirectly involved must be suspended and punished. i whole heartdly support the petition.

  20. Though it is a sad fact that in our country there is no accountability for any action of a public or private person and these man made tragedies can only be averted if everybody cares enough to stand up and be counted. I totally support this petition.

  21. Man-made disasters cost the most in terms of human suffering, loss of life and long-term damage.Our society has policies and ways that are harmful and destructive towards humans’ freedoms, safety, and survival. We need enough truthful knowledge to see enough of the total reality picture to know what policies, ways, and actions are needed for humans’ freedoms, safety, and survival.
    It is time we are willing to take up the burden along with those whom we are close to, to share ideas, aid, and protection from whatever may threaten our very existence. It also means discussing unfair laws that have been established to limit our ability to survive outside the realms of the governments in which we live under.

    I fully support this petition. It is time that LIFE of each one of us is respected and valued.

  22. It’s time the Government wakes up from its slumber and take some concrete steps to protect its citizen in public places

    K. Bhalla

  23. Let’s all join hands and force the Government to form a National Public Safety Commission

    Rahul Manav

  24. I strongly support the petition.

    Safety in public places should be seriously looked into. Strict safety regulations should be made and violators should be punished.

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