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Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill

Topics Covered:

  1. Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.

 

Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill

 

What to study?

For Prelims: Key features of the law.

For Mains: Controversial provisions, concerns associated and ways to address them.

 

Context: President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the ‘Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill’, controversial anti-terror legislation passed in March 2015.

 

Background:

The Bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill, failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004. Now, Sixteen years after the first version of it was passed by the Gujarat Assembly, the Gujarat GCTOC has finally become law.

 

Controversial provisions in the Bill:

  1. The Bill provides for admissibility of evidence collected through interception of mobile calls of an accused or through confessions made before an investigating officer, in a court of law.
  2. Clause 16, which makes confessions before police officers admissible in court.
  3. The bill empowers police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence.
  4. It extends period of probe from stipulated 90 days to 180 days before filing of charge sheet.
  5. The legislation makes offences under the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Act, 2015, non-bailable.
  6. The Bill provides immunity to the State government from legal action.

 

Other provisions include:

  • It defines ‘terrorist acts’, as including “an act committed with the intention to disturb law and order or public order or threaten the unity, integrity and security of the State”, apart from economic offences.
  • The economic offences under GCTOC include Ponzi schemes, multi-level marketing schemes, and organised betting. It also includes extortion, land grabbing, contract killings, cybercrimes, and human trafficking.
  • It also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors.
  • It provides for attachment of properties acquired through organised crimes. Transfer of properties can also be cancelled.

 

Sources: the Hindu.