President Ram Nath Kovind has given his assent to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime (GCTOC) Bill, a controversial anti-terror legislation passed by the BJP-ruled State in March 2015.

What is the most controversial provision?

One of the key features of the new Act includes the consideration of intercepted telephonic conversations as legitimate evidence.

History of the law

The Bill, earlier named as the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, had failed to get the presidential nod thrice since 2004 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of the State.

In 2015, the Gujarat government re-introduced the Bill by renaming it the GCTOC, but retained controversial provisions like empowering the police to tap telephonic conversations and submit them in court as evidence.

What is the objective behind the law?

Supporters of the act said that its provisions will prove crucial in dealing with terrorism and organised crimes such as contract killing, ponzi schemes, narcotics trade and extortion rackets.

What are the main provisions of the act?

  1. One of the key features of this Bill is that intercepted telephonic conversations would now be considered legitimate evidence.
  1. This Bill also provides for the creation of a special court as well as the appointment of special public prosecutors.
  1. It also give powers to attach properties acquired through organised crimes as well as cancel the transfer of such properties.
  1. Other provisions of the Act is the admissibility of a confession made before a police officer as evidence.

Source: The Hindu

Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance