Gujarat terrorism bill sent to President for approval

Ahmedabad, Apr 23: Gujarat governor O P Kohli has sent the controversial Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill, 2015 to the President for his assent, state home minister Rajnikant Patel said here.

"I have learned that Governor has sent the bill to the President for his approval, as some of the provisions require presidential assent," said Patel. [Gujarat passes contentious anti-terror Bill]


The GCTOC bill was passed by the state Assembly for the fourth time on March 31 this year. Some of its provisions, such as the admissibility of evidence collected through telephonic interception and confession made before a police officer, have become controversial.

Also, it provides that a chargesheet can be filed within six months of arrest (against a shorter period in ordinary cases) and no bail can be obtained on a personal bond.

The bill had been sent back by President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2004 and his successor Pratibha Patil in 2008 when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister.

The Assembly passed it again in 2009, but it remained pending with the President. This year it was renamed and passed yet again.

The bill is modelled on the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Gujarat unit of Congress said it would request President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign the bill.

"Earlier when this bill was sent to the Governor by the BJP-led state government for approval, we had met him and requested him not to sign the bill, as the earlier version had been rejected twice by former presidents and once by governor owing to controversial provisions," said senior Congress MLA Shailesh Parmar.

"Now, as the bill has been sent to the President, senior Congress leaders will meet him (Mukherjee) to make an appeal that he should not sign this bill which contains provisions which are politically-driven and in contravention of the current law system," said Parmar.


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