Gujarat Assembly passes GUJCOC resolution

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Gandhinagar, Sep 26 (UNI) The Gujarat Legislative Assembly today passed a resolution requesting the Centre to give immediate clearance to the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) bill by majority votes.

The resolution, moved by Minister of State for Home Amit Shah, stresses the need for the law, in view of the growing terror incidents across the country, including the recent serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad.

It also pointed out that Gujarat, being a border state and having 1640 km coastline, is prone to smuggling of exlosives, drugs and fake currency. Therefore to tackle these police needed legal support.

It also Pointed out that the Centre has cleared similar provisions for Maharashtra and Karnataka, but the Gujarat Ordinance is hanging fire since 2003. The provision of the GUJCOC treats the admission of the accused as an evidence and does not require other supporting evidences for the trial. This is a deterrent and effective way of dealing with terrorism.

The resolution fuelled a heated debate in the House, as the Congress opposed the tough anti-terror bill, saying that the GUJCOC's misuse is possible. Leader of the Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil alleged the ruling BJP is not interested in countering terrorism, but wants to make a political capital out of it.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has initiated a campaign for clearence of the GUJCOC, which has been pending with the Centre for the last four years even after the Ahmedabad blasts and arrests of 16 SIMI activists for the same.

The GUJCOC bill is on the lines of the MCOCA and was first passed in the state legislative Assembly in 2003 and sent for presidential assent. However, the Centre returned the bill to the state Assembly, asking changes in it as per the Maharashtra High Court's order on admissibility of evidence collected through interception of communciation under the MOCOCA.

After the necessary amendements as suggested by the Centre, the state Assembly had passed the bill once again in 2004 and sent it again for approval.

The Centre has, however, not cleared the bill for the last four years. The state government had brought a resolution requesting the Centre to approve GUJCOC in the state Assembly in 2006 also.

UNI HT SR ATI GC1705

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