Allies, Opposition pick holes in anti-terror law
Posted on: 08:39 PM IST Dec 16, 2008
New Delhi: The Union Government introduced the National Investigation Agency Bill 2008 and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Both bills were moved by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and have been introduced to deal with terrorist strikes.But even though all political parties have been saying in one voice that Mumbai terror attacks were an act of war against India and have been backing Union Government's efforts to deal with its aftermath, there is no consensus within the UPA on the new anti-terror law."We made to suggestions to the government. One is that confessions in police custody should not be taken as evidence in court and the agency who has filed the charges should prove them and not that the accused should prove his innocence. The cabinet has accepted both these suggestions," says Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers and Minister of Steel.Paswan, who is also Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJSP) chief, says the new law should only be passed with some modifications and adds his party does not want misuse of law as in case of Gujarat.While the BJP has supported the government on a new anti-terror law, party General Secretary Arun Jaitley says the steps taken by the government to tackle terror are incomplete and reluctant."Anti-terror bills introduced by the government is incomplete and a reluctant step to counter terror but we will support it. Stronger laws are needed to battle terror," says Jaitely.Communist Party of India (CPI) National Secretary D Raja says his party is willing to examine the governments anti-terror law proposal."We are wiling to examine the steps taken by the government to curb the terror acts in India if government thinks to bring some anti-terror law. We are not for any kind of stringent draconian law like POTA or TADA. If there is any provision in the existing laws that need to be strengthened that we are wiling to examine it," says Raja.