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Controversial Gujarat anti-terror law gets President’s nod


Ahmedabad : President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, a controversial anti-terror legislation passed by the BJP-ruled State in March 2015.

One of the key features of the new Act includes the consideration of intercepted telephonic conversations as legitimate evidence.

The announcement of the Presidential assent was made by Gujarat Minister of State for Home, Pradeepsinh Jadeja, in Gandhinagar on Tuesday.

The Bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, had failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the State.

In 2015, the Gujarat government re-introduced the Bill by renaming it the GCTOC, but retained controversial provisions like empowering the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence.

Mr. Jadeja said the provisions of the Bill will prove crucial in dealing with terrorism and organised crimes such as contract killing, ponzi schemes, narcotics trade and extortion rackets.

“The dream of Prime Minister Modi was finally fulfilled today,” he said.

“One of the key features of this Bill is that intercepted telephonic conversations would now be considered legitimate evidence. This Bill also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors. We can now attach properties acquired through organised crimes. We can also cancel the transfer of properties,” said Mr. Jadeja.

Other provisions of the Act is the admissibility of a confession made before a police officer as evidence.


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