After an eight-year wait, Narendra Modi government's attempt to get the Centre's nod for an anti-terror law for Gujarat has come a cropper again with the President withholding her assent to the measure citing the failure to carry out the suggested amendments.
"The President (Pratibha Patil )has withheld her assent from the (Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime) Bill on January 22, 2012 as the state government had not made any amendments in clauses 16 and 20 in the said Bill as per the directives contained in Presidential message to the earlier Bill.
"The same has been conveyed to the secretary to the Governor, Gujarat on February 2, 2012," Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The controversial GUJCOC Bill, 2003, which was passed by the Assembly in 2004 and has been vigorously pushed by Chief Minister Narendra Modi, was returned to the Gujarat Governor for the first time on June 25, 2009 together with the President's message of June 24, 2009 to the Gujarat legislature for reconsidering it.
However, the Bill was resubmitted by the Gujarat government without any amendment.
Ramachandran said the Gujarat government had re-submitted the Bill, as passed by the state legislature and reserved by the Gujarat Governor for consideration of the President, which was received in the Home Ministry on November 11, 2009.
The proposed law was earlier rejected by the Centre on the ground that it was not in line with its legislation dealing with terrorism like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act.
The assent to the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, similar to GUJCOC, was given on April 24, 1999 presumably in accordance with the then policy of the government.
Subsequently, there has been a change in the policy of the central government and it was conveyed to Parliament that all subsequent state Acts should be in line with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008, as approved by Parliament.The Centre has also advised amendments to the Gujarat government in this regard.