Another Building Block in the Edifice of Authoritarianism
The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Bill is the latest effort at the devolution of authoritarianism. This article discusses four draconian provisions, which seem like a throwback to the days of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act of 1987 and the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2002.
There is an old saying that a bad craftsman blames his tools. India has no dearth of laws to deal with violent activity. In addition to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) 1973 and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) 1860, there are numerous other laws that are equipped to deal with terrorist offences. Among them are,
(i) National Security Act, 1980; (ii) Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, as amended; (iii) Disturbed Areas Act;(iv) Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976; (v) The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, as amended 2008; (vi) Prevention of Seditious Meetings Act, 1911; (vii) The Religious Institution (Prevention of Misuse) Ordinance, 1988; (viii) The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1994; (ix) The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982; (x) Disturbed Areas (Special Courts) Act, 1976; (xi) Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999; (xii) The Prevention of Black Marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980; (xiii) Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988; (xiv) Indian Telegraph Act; and (xv) Information Technology Act, 2000.