Centre nod to Guj terror bill

Centre nod to Guj terror bill

Controversial bill was rejected by Vajpayee regime, too

Centre nod to Guj terror bill
The NDA government has given its green signal for a controversial anti-terror law passed by Gujarat that was rejected thrice earlier, including once during A B Vajpayee regime, and forwarded it to President Pranab Mukherjee for his assent.

The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill has been hanging fire since it was first introduced in 2003 by Narendra Modi, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.

The bill was rejected twice during the UPA regime. “The bill has been sent to the President,” a senior Home Ministry official said.

The controversial law was passed in April this year for the fourth time after making minor changes while retaining controversial provisions like allowing information collected through interception of mobile calls or through confessions made before an investigating officer as evidence.

These provisions were among the reasons for earlier rejections. Officials were tight lipped on whether the Home Ministry has accepted the latest version proposed by the Gujarat government, which was similar to the previous rejected ones. “We cannot give inputs on the step-by-step procedure. Wait for the final decision by the President,” a senior official said.

In July this year, the Home Ministry had sent back the controversial bill to the state asking it to clarify on issues raised by the Ministry of Information and Technology (IT).

The IT ministry had serious reservations about the provision that allows authorisation and interception of telephone and its admissibility as evidence before a court of law.

Officials said the Gujarat government had rebutted the objections raised by the IT ministry.
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