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Karnataka invokes deadly Act to curb terror

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | August 04, 2008 11:12 IST

The Karnataka government has decided to act tough in its war against terror.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has instructed officials to invoke the provisions of the Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA) while arresting persons with suspected terror links.

The provisions of this act, which was first invoked by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Abdul Karim Lala Telgi, the prime accused in the fake stamp paper case, gives the police the power to carry out an arrest without a warrant.

Legal experts say the move will make the job of the police easier. It permits tapping of phones and the conversation recorded can be used as evidence in court. Moreover, it allows the setting up of a special court to try persons booked under this offence and this in turn would ensure that such cases would be heard exclusively by the special court.

The provisions relating to granting of bail, too, are tough under this act. The act states that no person arrested under this act shall be released on bail unless the public prosecutor files an application before the court stating that the state has no objection to the person being released on bail.

The court would have to take into consideration this application and then decide whether bail could be granted or not.

K Sathish Rai, advocate from Karnataka, told rediff.com that the act has advantages and disadvantages.

While the police will find it easier to tackle terror elements, there is also a huge chance of the act being misused. He said that certain guidelines ought to be framed, while invoking the provisions of this act or else there is a chance of it creating chaos.

Yeddyurappa, however, maintains that there is an immediate need to tackle the problem of terrorism. He said the government would strengthen the anti-terrorist squad and increase the budgetary allocation for the police force.

 






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