In a bid to combat terrorism and organised crime more effectively, the Gujarat Assembly on Tuesday passed the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCOC) Bill 2015, also known as Anti-terror Bill.
The legislation is a modified version of the original 2003 Gujarat Control of Organized Crime Bill which was not cleared by the earlier NDA and UPA governments.
The GUJCOC Bill was rejected in 2004 and 2008 by the then president AJP Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil respectively who had suggested some amendments in the provisions related to telephone interception and confession made before police officer being considered as evidence in the court.
The controversial Bill was introduced by Minister of state for Home Mr. Rajnikant Patel in the floor House and passed by a majority vote amidst walk out by opposition congress members.
In the new bill, the government has retained the provision related to confession made before a police officer. It is proposed that the officer should be of Superintendent of Police (SP) or above rank.
The Bill aims to empower the law enforcing authorities to intercept and record phone calls as evidence in the court. It also puts the onus of proving the innocence on an accused.