The Gujarat government has made a significant decision to amend the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act by expanding its scope to cyber crime and safeguarding women in the state, an official release stated on Saturday. An ordinance in this regard will be proposed by Chief minister Vijay Rupani in the upcoming Cabinet meeting, which is usually held on Wednesdays.
The PASA Act, which has been operational in the state since 1985, will be amended to cover cyber crime activities, physical violence and intimidation of weaker sections, loan sharks, charging illegal interest installments against money borrowers, sexual harassment and related offenses, stated an official statement from the state government on Saturday.
Earlier, the PASA Act was implemented in case a person was found guilty of gambling and committed the crime again within three years of being convicted. Under the new provisions of the PASA Act, offenders will be convicted in case they are caught gambling at any given point of time.
Other amendments that have been encapsulated under the PASA Act include people violating chapter nine of the PASA Act. This includes people engaged in illegal activities related to money lending and all those abetting the same, or those trying to harass and physically abuse money borrowers and take possession of their land, threatening them, etc.
The Act will also be expanded to safeguard women in Gujarat.
Individuals who commit, attempt to commit or abet in offenses under various sections of the Indian Criminal Code, 1860, as well as the POCSO (Protection of Children against Sexual Offences) Act, are now separately included in the PASA Penal Code.
People committing offences under the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, people acquiring private and government properties illegally, drug offenders, bootleggers, gamblers, people involved in prostitution, cow slaughter, etc. can also be charged as per the PASA Act, 1985.