Congress leaders to urge President not to clear Gujarat’s anti-terror bill

The bill, which was first passed in 2003 and then amended drastically this year, was first rejected in 2004 by the then President APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil in 2008.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Published: October 3, 2015 2:51:05 am

State Congress leaders, including state party president Bharatsinh Solanki, the leader of the opposition in the state assembly Shankersinh Vaghela and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel will call on President Pranab Mukherjee Saturday and urge him not to give approval to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill-2015. Congress leaders have been maintaining that the provisions of the bill passed by the state BJP government were draconian. They also argue that the state had not been facing terror and hence such a law was not needed at all.

The bill, which was first passed in 2003 and then amended drastically this year, was first rejected in 2004 by the then President APJ Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil in 2008.

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The GCTOC Bill of 2015 was passed by the Gujarat Assembly in March this year after Congress staged a walkout opposing it. Congress had said the provisions objected to by the previous Presidents had not been adhered to. The Bill was earlier named as Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) which was on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

In July, the Modi government at the Centre had sent back the controversial Bill to the state government asking it to clarify on certain issues raised by the Ministry of Information and Technology (IT). The IT Ministry has objected to the provision in the Bill which allows authorisation of interception of telephone conversations and their admissibility as evidence before a court of law. The Gujarat government had strongly rebutted the objections raised by the Ministry of IT.
with pti inputs

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