Gujarat to enact 'Goondas Act' to prosecute habitual criminals

Under this law, those indulging in anti-social activities or disturbing peace will be given jail terms ranging from seven to 10 years.

Published: 01st September 2020 04:19 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2020 04:19 PM   |  A+A-

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AHMEDABAD: The Vijay Rupani government will enact the 'Gujarat Gunda and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act' to rein in habitual criminals.

Under this law, those indulging in anti-social activities or disturbing peace will be given jail terms ranging from seven to 10 years, and fined Rs 50,000, a state government release said on Tuesday.

Government officials found abetting such people will face prison terms of not less than three years which may go up to 10 years, the release further informed.

Since the state Assembly is not in session, the new law will be made effective by bringing in an ordinance, it said, adding that Chief Minister Rupani will give assent to the ordinance in a cabinet meet scheduled for Wednesday.

Gundas, as per this Act, are those who threaten and bully people in personal capacity or in groups, or those engaged in disturbing public order or involved in anti-social activities, said the release.

"This Act includes narcotic substances, liquor and drugs-related crimes, capturing property, creating bogus property documents, women trafficking, offences related to POCSO Act, extortion and kidnapping for ransom," it said.

Other crimes for which the accused can be tried under this Act include spreading terror among people, engaging in violence for recovering money, illegal transportation of animals, violations of Arms Act and engaging in production, sale and transportation of arms-ammunitions, said the release.

Witnesses will be given protection under the new Act, including not revealing their names, the release said, while special courts will be set up and past cases currently pending in normal courts will be transferred in these courts.

The Act also empowers courts to attach properties of such anti-social elements, the release added.

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