The Gujarat government will begin the implementation of anti-terror law, the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Act, from December 1 onwards, said Minister of State for Home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja on Wednesday.
President Ram Nath Kovind had given a nod to the Act on November 5. “Attempts to implement GCTOC were being made in Gujarat ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was heading the state. The state assembly had passed the law three times, but it failed to get clearance from the Centre. Why was Gujarat’s GCTOC not getting the permission, when a similar MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) was in place in Maharashtra?” asked Jadeja, while announcing the date for the law to be implemented in Gujarat.
One of the most controversial provisions of the Act is that it empowers police to intercept oral, wire or electronic conversations and submit them as evidence in a court of law. When asked about the details of the new rules of communication interception under the Act, Jadeja said,
“We have formed a committee which has framed a draft of the rules for this purpose. The draft is ready. They will finalise the rules before December 1. These rules will be complimentary to the central rules under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019.”
The original bill was called the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill (GUJCOC) and was passed by the state legislature in 2003, when PM Narendra Modi was the chief minister of the state. Thereafter, several changes were made, but three different Presidents including APJ Abdul Kalam, Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee returned it to the state legislature, asking it to make appropriate changes to some of the controversial provisions, including those meant for the interception of communication.
Apart from possible terror activities, the new GCTOC Act will also help the government to keep a tab on multi-level marketing schemes, ponzi schemes, kidnapping, extortion, seeking money for protection, contract killing and narcotics trade.