Anti terrorism bill GUJCOC passed by Gujarat Assembly: Merits and Harms
Anti terrorism bill GUJCOC passed by Gujarat Assembly: Merits and Harms
On Tuesday Gujarat Assembly passes the controversial 'Gujarat Control of Organised crime bill' (GUJCOC) by a majority vote according to which authorities police are to intercept and record the telephonic conversation and submit them in court as evidence. This bill was earlier returned by the president to the state government for reconsideration when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister. The Gujarat government has again gone ahead and introduced the bill in a new form. Some of the controversial provisions are still considered uniform in the new bill. The cases under the act can be legislative only in the special courts set up for this purpose.
Positives of the bill:
1. The clause of the bill is in the favour of nation, the households of the country and its guidelines consider the arrest and punishments to traitors. It assist the government and the security agencies in preventing terrorist activities in the state.
2. Anything that is collected with suspicion as an evidence through the interception of wires, electronic or oral communication under the provision of any other law shall be considered as evidence against the accused in the court during the trial of case. And the accused's statement before a police officer not below the rank of superintendent of police will be treated as evidence.
3. Terrorists and organized crimes are extending their filthy paws at an increasing rate throughout the country which has become the major problem for national security agencies. By introducing such measures in the bill, these are helpful in prevention of terrorism and punishing the accused, thereby warning the others that we are determined to fight terrorism.
4. With economic progress, Gujarat is facing threat of terrorism and illegal offences. It ha 1600 km sea border and 500 km land border with Pakistan witnessing several terrorist attacks. Pakistan has become the epicentre of the world's terrorism. For the security of the state and citizens, this step is to be necessarily exercised.
5. Terrorism knows no national boundaries and is assisted by illegal wealth generation by contract of assassination, smuggling, illegal trade, cyber crimes, etc. The illegal trade and black money generated by organized crimes is very huge and would have adverse effect on economy if left unchecked. Being preventive is better than being only careful.
6. Usually the organised criminal syndicates make extensive use of wires and oral communication in their criminal activities.The interception of such communication would obtain evidence of the commission of crimes and prevent the commission from formulating or executing any terrorist activities.
7. It provide immunity to the state government from legal action through an ambiguous idea of good faith. Section 25 of the bill states, 'no suits, prosecution or another legal proceedings should lie against the State government, or any officer , or authority of the state government for any thing which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act.'
Controversial sections of the bill:
1. The controversial section including telephonic interception, confessions made before any police officer as the evidence and time limit for more than 180 days for filing charge sheets, should be removed. It's of no doubt that according to needs of the hour, various laws should be implemented but it should not seize to create any controversies, considering which it was rejected thrice previously by the presidents.
2. Another controversial clause under the bill is section 20 (4) which follow that no accused person in this act shall be released on bail or on his own bond unless the public prosecutor has been given an opportunity to oppose the application, the special court is satisfied that there are reasonable ground for believing that the accused is not guilty of such offence and that he is not like to commit any offence while on bail.
3. Some of the provisions in the bill are even unconstitutional. The provision of confession before a police officer is containing distinct views with indian evidence act, which reads a statement before a magistrate can only be considered as an evidence. This would lead to conflict in the regional courts which are supposed to be given more importance.
4. The provision of not to release the accused on bail is again unconstitutional as according to constitution it is the right of accused to get released on bail on his own bond. This section should not have been given any space is the legislation.
The time limit for filing chargesheet has been extended from 90days to 180 days which leads to disagreement in large section of society. The contentious clause of the bill include the evidence collected from telephonic interception, confession before a police officer to be considered as final, no bails on personal bonds should be amended because of which it was rejected thrice by the president. And now that Narendra Modi is the Prime Minister, the Gujarat state government is hopeful of getting the president's assent for passing of bills. Considering the facts which relate the need for the bill, it would be a useful device to tackle with terrorism. The present laws are not appropriate for the safety of six crore people of Gujarat. Only the controversial sections should be reconsidered and amended if necessary.
- RE: Anti terrorism bill GUJCOC passed by Gujarat Assembly: Merits and Harms -Deepa Kaushik (04/10/15)
- The Anti-terrorism bill has been designed in order to safeguard the lives of crores of citizens living in the state of Gujarat. While analysing the pros and cons of the bill and its establishments, we need to consider the intention behind such a bill which is the security of people residing in the state who are very prone to frequent terrorism; Pakistan sharing its boundary on one side.
The bill definitely has got some valid points of hacking the conversation of the terrorists which could help in curbing the terrorist activities and preventing any attack before hand. The main mode of communication being the telephonic or electronic or the interception by wires; having a close check at the interception of the wires and telephonic conversation would help in early prediction and prevention of undue disaster.
On the other hand, we cannot deny the controversies behind this bill. The foremost being the extension of period to file the chargesheet. The period is extended from 90 to 180 days, and this extended time period is large enough to hold any accused back just on the basis of suspicion. Another being the denial of bail even on his own bond. This statement being unconstitutional, that calls for an amendment in the texts of constitution for the denial of bail to the accused on his own bond. The next being the statement by the accused in front of the police officials is again unconstitutional. Our law and order outweighs the court and judiciary over the cops, and on those grounds, it need to be a magistrate to whom the accused can produce the confession statement.
It is understood that the Gujarat Assembly has tried to make few changes to the earlier version of the bill; yet the bill needs some more amendments, especially the controversial units need to be stabilised before passing and executing the bill.