Skip to main content

If anti-terror bill is signed by Gujarat governor, it will be mockery of democracy

Memorandum by Movement for Secular Democracy (MSD) and People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) to OP Kohli, Governor of Gujarat on the need to reject the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and organized Crimes Bill:We the citizens would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Govt. of Gujarat passed a Bill Gujarat Control of Terrorism and organized Crimes (GCTOC) on March 31, 2015 in the House of the Gujarat Assembly amidst opposition.
This Bill GCTOC is synthesis of GUJCOC and Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act/TADA and Prevention of Terrorism Act/POTA and is modelled on the MCOCA/Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act; it has also been in force in Delhi since 2002. The bill is in not in consonance with the policy on terror laws as mentioned in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
Introducing the bill for the fourth time in 12 years, with a new name, Gujarat minister of state for home Rajnikant Patel said it "is aimed at combating terrorism and organised crime, it seeks to empower law-enforcing authorities to intercept and record phone calls as evidence, putting the onus of innocence on an accused".
Patel, who tabled the GCTOC Bill, argued that the legislation was required for the safety and security of the residents of Gujarat, which shares its border with Pakistan. “Pakistan cannot win the war against India. We all know about terrorist activities in Pakistan. To protect every single citizen from the bullet of terrorists, we need to strengthen the law,” he said.
We would like to reiterate that the earlier versions having been rejected by the then Governor, the then President of India in 2004, 2008 and 2009, respectively. We would like to mention here that total 11,916 were arrested under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act from 2009 to 2014 in the state of Gujarat. More than 10,000 were acquitted by the Court and PASA board. It shows the misuse of PASA politically in the state.
The draconian provisions of this bill Centre around Clause 16 which holds that confessions made by persons before a police officer not below the rank of Police Superintendent will be admissible in trials of the accused/co-accused/abettor or conspirator.
  • It allows evidence collected through the "interception of wire, electronic or oral communication” admissible in the court against accused
  • It allows for the period of investigation to be extended to 180 days so that the police have more time to keep an accused in custody
  • The Bill also provides immunity from legal action to the State as Clause 25 of the Bill indicates that no suit, prosecution or legal proceedings shall lie against state government or officer of authority of the same in pursuance of the Act .
  • It prevents an accused from getting bail while in custody. Legislation also makes offences under the bill non-bailable. Clause 20(4) of the Bill indicated that no person accused of offences under the act should be released on either bail or his own bond 
The draconian bill will promote police tyranny and the abuse of the law in order to settle political scores.
As a matter of fact the Code of Criminal Procedure is adequate enough to deal with the internal security. So there is no need to enact GCTOC.
If this Bill is made an act there will be mockery of democracy in Gujarat. An undeclared emergency like situation will scare the people of Gujarat.
This Bill is aimed to gag the voice of people of the state who are anguished because of the Land Acquisition Act, Anti-labour laws, rising corruptions exposed in recently tabled CAG Report in Gujarat Assembly and growing unemployment and insecurities of the people.
This Bill, if signed by you, will be a death knell to democracy.

Comments

TRENDING

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Attack on Gaza: Western media 'went out of the way' to obscure, protect perpetrators

By Sonali Kolhatkar*  Israeli forces killed more than a hundred Palestinians and wounded more than 700 on February 29, 2024 during a distribution of food aid in Gaza city, pushing the Palestinian death toll to 30,000 since October 7, 2023. The food aid massacre was straightforward in its deadliness as armed Israeli forces aimed weapons at desperate, hungry Palestinian civilians and killed many of them. It was also plausible within the context of who has firepower and who doesn’t, and wholly consistent with Israeli atrocities, especially those committed since October 7, 2023.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Stressing on standardisation, efficiency, capitalists 'intensify' workers' exploitation

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The productivist ideology lies at the core of the profit-making pyramid of capitalism. It perpetuates a relentless cycle characterized by busy schedules, workplace tension, an imbalance in work-life equilibrium, and a pervasive sense of alienation. 

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".