Gujarat accuses Centre of bypassing courts

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New Delhi, Feb 28 (UNI) The Gujarat government today accused the UPA government at the Centre before the Supreme Court of overreaching courts by appointing a POTA Review Committee which recommended dropping of POTA charges against many accused involved in terrorist activities.

The counsel for the state of Gujarat contended before a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, and Justices R V Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari that the Central government cannot appoint a POTA Review Committee to take away the jurisdiction of the court.

Conceding before the court that Parliament has power to make laws but it cannot make laws to nullify the due process of law. No government can interfere with the due process of law by appointing a review committee and recommending through it that there is no prima facie evidence against the accused to show their involvement in terrorist and anti-national activities.

The counsel for Gujarat pleaded before the court that POTA Review Committee appointed by the Centre to review POTA cases registered in the state was nothing but a devise to bypass the courts which cannot be permitted. Hence, the constitution of the review committee by the Central government was illegal and unconstitutional and the recommendation of such a committee cannot be acted upon and it must be left exclusively to the courts to decide whether the accused are guilty of the offensive under POTA or not.

It may be noted here that Centre has been supporting the petitioner who are challenging the Gujarat government's decision not to abide by the recommendations of POTA Review Committee appointed by the Centre.

The Narendra Modi government has refused to drop POTA charges against the petitioners who include Mahmadhusen, Abdul Rahim Kalota Shaikh, Harpal Sinh, N Jhala, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Ishaq alias Laddoo Wala, Anusuya Ben, Sadashiv Jadav and Prahlad Prabhudas Patel and others.

The arguements remained inconclusive and shall be resumed on March 4.

UNI AKS/SC BDP AS1738

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