President Patil dissents, wants Cabinetís call on Gujarat terror Bill
- Former Ranji player held, Sreesanth and others to be produced in court today
- Li Keqiang pitches for more Chinese investments as he backs trade balance
- All eyes on Narendra Modi as BJP set to discuss strategy for Lok Sabha polls
- SC agrees to hear PIL to stay IPL matches due to spot-fixing
- Monstrous tornado rips through US city of Oklahoma, 90 dead
In a rare intervention, President Pratibha Patil has returned the recommendation of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to send the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2003, back to the state Assembly. Sources told The Sunday Express that the President has directed the MHA to seek the concurrence of the Union Cabinet on the course of action suggested by it.
"We have already sent back the file to the MHA for placing the same before the Cabinet," disclosed a senior functionary in the President's Secretariat.
Incidentally, there have been differences within the Union Cabinet, too, on the fate of the Bill, with the Cabinet failing to take a decision on the issue twice. Some ministers are said to hold the view that since the Gujarat law is similar to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), which is applicable in Congress-ruled Maharashtra and Delhi, the Centre should recommend to the President to give her assent to the GUJCOC Bill, which is lying in the MHA since 2004.
As first reported by The Indian Express on November 7 last year, the MHA forwarded the GUJCOC Bill to the President with the recommendation to send it back to the Assembly without signing it. The communication advised the President to ask the Gujarat Assembly to re-work the Bill in order to remove provisions that it said are susceptible to misuse by investigating agencies.
However, after P Chidambaram took over as Home Minister and amendments were made to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the MHA recalled the file from the President's Secretariat. Sources said the purpose behind this move was to identify provisions in the GUJCOC Bill that were harsher than the amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The MHA finally informed the President that some provisions of Gujarat's proposed anti-terror law were "suspect" and hence the Bill should be sent back to the Gujarat Assembly for amending the same.
- 'Sophisticated' Indian cyberattacks targeted Pak military sites: Report
- Talkative Li quoted Weber, Hegel, Jobs, said PM is large-hearted
- Bihar food corp ends up with chaff as rice worth Rs 535 cr vanishes from mills
- In 7 lucrative minutes on May 9, Sreesanth bowled 6 balls, bookie made Rs 2.5 cr
- India and China ask border envoys to work on more steps
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held