Modi attacks centre for returning Gujarat anti-terror law

June 20th, 2009 - 9:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Narendra Modi New Delhi, June 20 (IANS) A day after the central government decided to return Gujarat’s controversial anti-terror act - the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Act (GUJCOCA) - for certain amendments, Chief Minister Narendra Modi Saturday criticised the decision, saying it is only a “xerox copy” of similar act in Maharashtra.
“GUJCOCA is the Xerox copy of the MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act),” Modi told reporters here on the sidelines of the BJP national executive meeting here.

“We had sent it to the central government in 2004. During its entire term, this government was not able to take a decision on it. It took them five years,” he said.

The Gujarat chief minister also said that when the MCOCA was challenged in the court, several suggestions were given by the court and these suggestions were incorporated in the GUJCOCA.

However, he also indicated that the act could be sent back to the assembly.

The central government had Friday decided to send back the GUJCOCA to the Gujarat government to incorporate three amendments before it can be ratified. The decision was announced after a cabinet meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“Under the proposed Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Act, a confession before a police officer is admissible in a court. This should be made inadmissible. The act also contains a clause stating that a court cannot grant bail if the public prosecutor opposes it. The court should have the power to grant bail even if the public prosecutor opposes it,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in the briefing after the cabinet meet.

However, the home minister did not specify the third amendment on section 20 (2) of the act.

“Once these amendments are effected, the cabinet will be in a position to recommend to the president to grant assent to the act,” he added.

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