'Gujarat Bill Won't Override Central Laws on Phone Interception'

Gujarat government said GCTOC Bill-2015 does not violate Central laws, especially those dealing with interception of phone calls.

Published: 14th August 2015 02:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th August 2015 02:30 AM   |  A+A-

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: In a reply to the Centre, Gujarat government has said the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill-2015 does not violate Central laws, especially those dealing with interception of phone calls.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs had sought clarification on certain provisions related to the interception of phone calls in the controversial bill.

A senior official in state home department said the Union Ministry of Communication and Information Technology had also raised a query, seeking to know if the bill violates existing laws such as the Telegraph Act and the IT Act.

"We have clearly told the ministry that we are not going to bypass any existing law. Implementation will be completely dependent on the existing provisions of Telegraph Act and the IT Act," the official said.

"Call interception is legal under the Telegraph Act, provided it is carried out by designated authority. So we have said it will be carried out as per the provisions in the Central act."

Clause 14 of GCTOC, passed by Gujarat Assembly in March, allows police to record a phone conversation and use it as evidence. The bill is a renamed version of Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, which failed to get the Presidential assent thrice.

Other controversial provisions include admissibility of confession made to a police officer as evidence, extended period of six months for filing of chargesheet, and no bail on a personal bond.

The bill has been sent by the Governor O P Kohli for Presidential assent, which is yet to be granted.

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