President returns Gujarat terror Bill; seeks clarification

President returns Gujarat terror Bill; seeks clarification

President returns Gujarat terror Bill; seeks clarification

Returning the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill – 2015 that provides for call interceptions and phone tapping, President Pranab Mukherjee has sought more clarification on the legislation.

“We have received information about this but not the official communication. We shall study it in detail and reply to any queries raised,” BJP spokesperson I K Jadeja told mediapersons.

The Home Ministry is learnt to have informed the President that it was withdrawing the bill and submit a re-worked bill for his consent after seeking additional inputs from Gujarat government. The Bill was sent for the President’s assent in September.

“Narendra Modi as chief minister had insisted on enacting this law but as Prime Minister he seems to have realized that something is not right with the law and hence it is being returned to the state for fourth time,” B M Mangukia, a lawyer and Congress leader said.

In July, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology said certain provisions of the GCTOC are in violation of the prevalent Telegraph Act and IT Act.

It specifically objected to the provision authorising police to intercept telephonic conversations and admit them as evidence before a court of law. Gujarat government strongly rebutted the objections in its reply.

The Bill, drawn on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act, has a provision for death penalty and financial penalty of Rs 10 lakh.Allowing confessions made to a police official as admissible evidence in court is some of the other provisions of the legislation.

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