Congress urges President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign the Gujarat anti-terror law
Gujarat Congress leaders Bharatsinh Solanki, Ahmad Patel and Shankar Singh Vaghela submitting a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. (Source: PTI)
Senior Congress leaders from the Gujarat, led by Sonia Gandhi‘s political secretary, Ahmed Patel on Saturday submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, requesting him not to give his assent to the controversial anti-terror law passed by the state assembly on March 31 during this year’s session.
Other Congress leaders in the delegation included state party president Bharatsinha Solanki, Leader of opposition in the state assembly S Shankersinh Vaghela and AICC spokpesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.
The bill in a different form was earlier returned by President APJ Abdul Kalam as well as Pratibha Patil, directing the state government to drop the controversial clauses from it.
Named as the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime(GCTOC) Bill, 2015, it has been approved by state Governor O P Kohli and was sent to the Union Home Ministry and the President of India for their approval.
The leaders told the President that the bill, if passed, would be very dangerous for the opposition too as it could be used against political rivals.
The bill makes confessions made before a police officer admissible in a court and also allows the police to tap internet and telephonic conversation and produce them as evidence in the court.
The Congress said that this would encourage the police to use third degree methods to extract confessions as the law also prohibits action to be taken against the police having acted with ‘good intentions.’
The bill also provides for extension of the period of investigation from stipulated 90 days to 180 days.
The bill was first introduced as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill (GUJCOC) in 2003 by the then chief minister Narendra Modi.
However, it was was rejected in 2004 and 2008 by the then President A P J Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil respectively and they had suggested some amendments in the provisions related to telephone interception and confession made before police officer being considered as evidence in court.
The bill was passed once again by the state assembly in 2009 and is awaiting the approval of the President as the state assembly has again passed the same bill two months ago and sent it to higher authorities for approval.
Source:: Indian Express