Gujarat Legislative Assembly passes Anti-Terror Bill
The Gujarat Legislative Assembly on 31 March 2015 passed Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2015.
It is third time this controversial Bill being passed by state assembly. Earlier, passed bill was rejected two times by the then Presidents in 2004 and 2008 for reconsideration.
- GUJCOC Bill, 2015 is a modified version of the original 2003 Gujarat Control of Organized Crime Bill. It still contains the provisions that had led to its rejection by Presidents in the past.
- The bill aims to empower the law enforcing authorities to intercept and record phone calls as evidence. It also puts the onus of proving the innocence on an accused.
Clause 14 of the Bill mentions that evidence collected through interception of wire, electronic or oral communication shall be admissible as evidence against the accused in the court.
- In 2004, the bill was passed for first time and was returned by then President APJ Abdul Kalam after he had objected clause-14. He had asked state government to remove the clause.
- In 2008, the bill was again passed after clause 14 was deleted as per recommendation of President.
- However, then President Pratibha Patil again rejected it and had suggested to eliminate the provision related to confession made before a police officer to be admitted in the court as evidence.
- In 2009, the bill was again passed for third time without making recommended amendments and was sent for President’s assent. It is still pending with the President for assent.