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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.