A year after the Narendra Modi government withdrew the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill from the President’s Secretariat, the proposed legislation is back with the Centre.
Home Ministry sources confirmed to The Indian Express that an updated Bill from the state has been received and is under process before it is sent to the President again. “MHA is holding consultation with other central ministries, including law and information technology, “ said a ministry official.
The anti-terror Bill passed by Gujarat Assembly in 2014 provides for admissibility in a court of law of evidence collected through interception of mobile calls of an accused or through confessions made before an investigating officer.
This is the first time the Bill has been amended and sent to the Home Ministry after Vijay Rupani took charge as the Chief Minister. While withdrawing the Bill in January from the President’s Secretariat, the MHA had argued that they wanted to “rework” the Bill and “consult the state government”.
The Bill was introduced when Anandiben Patel was Gujarat CM. The MHA had submitted the Bill for the President’s nod in September 2015, but the President’s Secretariat sat on the Bill, following which the MHA decided to withdraw.
Government sources said that the “language” of the Bill has been altered, but refused to elaborate further.
The Ministry of Information Technology had in July 2015 raised objections to some provisions in the Bill.
The Bill has been hanging fire since 2003, when Narendra Modi introduced it as Gujarat Chief Minister. It was rejected in 2004 by then President A P J Abdul Kalam, who demanded that the clause relating to interception of communication be removed. It was rejected again when Pratibha Patil was President.