We may now look at a brief summary of the provisions of GUJCOC to see to what extent the Gujarat Governments claim can bear the scrutiny.
Firstly, if we compare the definition of “organised crime” the new offence that has been defined in GUJCOC as well as MOCOCA, we will notice that the GUJCOC defintion does not contain the words “or any person promoting insurgency” which exists in MOCOCA. Without these few words, the offense as defined in GUJCOC does not remotely include any act of terrorism! We may ask: What is the real objective of GUJCOC? This law does not have anything to do with terrorism!
Secondly, the President had returned the Bill to the Government on 16.2.2004. Thus it is the NDA Government thayt had not passed the GUJCOC in its original form! The President had suggested the deletion of sections 14,15 and 16 of the GUJCOC. These amendments were made in June, 2004 with seven more additional sections were deleted, namely, sections 17 to 22 and 24 to 25. Thus all provisions regarding interceptions of information, wiretapping were removed! The heart of the legal weapon to detect and prevent terrorism was completely removed.
Thirdly, In the light of these changes, the amendement made in section 23 has to be interpreted which substituted the words “ “provisions of any other law” for the original words “provisions of the Act”. This change in section 23 meant that “interception of wire, electronic or oral communications” that were made admissible evidence, were to be collecetd under the provisions of “any other law” and NOT under GUJCOC. In June, 2004 the only other law that permitted wiretapping was POTA and therefore GUJCOC was borrowing the legal powers under POTA to make the amendment of section 23 of GUJCOC meaningful. But after the repeal of POTA in September 2004, how will the provision of section 23 of GUJCOC operate?? Gujarat Governemt has obviously not even thought of such ludicrous contradictions that exist in GUJCOC!
Fourthly, assuming that GUJCOC is given the assent of the President, it will be useless since “terrorist acts” are not covered by GUJCOC. Further, as there is no provision left in GUJCOC to intercept wire, electronic or oral communication, the law is toothless to prevent terrorism and lastly, this being a criminal law, will not have retrospective effect.
Lastly, let us ask, why does the Government want this useless piece of GUJCOC? As per the home ministers statement, he wants the provisons that make the confession before the police officer to become admissible evidence. This the real reason. Use third degree methods and twist all evidence! Such a provison should never made in any law since that will hamper all investigations and victimise the innocent.