Congress on Friday hailed President Pranab Mukherjee’s action of returning a controversial anti- terror bill, passed by the Gujarat assembly but twice rejected by the previous UPA government.”The President has raised several queries while returning the bill. It is a right step. We welcome it,” party spokesman Jairam Ramesh told reporters. The Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, 2015, which has been hanging fire since Narendra Modi, as Gujarat Chief Minister first introduced it in 2003, was returned by the President to the Home Ministry as he sought more inputs related to certain provisions.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Home Ministry will provide the additional inputs to the President after obtaining the same from the Gujarat government,” a Home Ministry official said. The Ministry has informed the President after his communication that it was withdrawing the bill and will submit a re-worked bill for his consent.The controversial bill was sent to the President in September 2015 for his assent. The bill provides for admissibility of evidence collected through interception of mobile calls of an accused or through confessions made before an investigating officer, in a court of law.In July last year, the Modi government at the Centre had sent back the bill to the state government asking it to clarify on certain issues raised by the Ministry of Information and Technology. The Gujarat Assembly in March 2015 had passed the stringent bill retaining controversial provisions that had twice earlier led to a previous similar bill being rejected by the President.The bill was first rejected by then President A P J Abdul Kalam in 2004, demanding that the clause relating to interception of communication be removed. It was again rejected when Pratibha Patil was the President.On both the occasions, the then UPA government recommended to the President for rejection of the bill, saying several provisions were not in conformity of the Central law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.To a question on the latest update on the GST Bill, Ramesh remarked “progress has to be measured not by tweets, blogs and press statements. This is a very serious issue… To the best of my knowledge, there has been no official formal response from the government to the three issues” raised by the party.He said that the GST has not come about because this government is “not serious” about it. “Congress is being used as an ‘alibi’ for its inability to bring about GST. If it really wants GST, it can happen in 15 minutes as our Vice President has said… Clearly the government does not want GST and they are using the Congress party as an excuse for their own unwillingness, inability and lack of commitment to GST,” he insisted.

Original article: 

Congress hails President Mukherjee’s decision to return Gujarat anti-terror bill