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Bowing to allies, Centre gives more powers to POTA review committees

October 28, 2003 12:11 IST

The Centre has promulgated an ordinance to give statutory powers to Prevention of Terrorism Act review committees for redressal of complaints by individuals booked under the anti-terror law.

President A P J Abdul Kalam promulgated an ordinance on Monday night to amend POTA to make the decisions of the Central and State Review Committees binding on the respective governments and police officials.

A Bill to replace the ordinance will be moved in the forthcoming winter session of Parliament, likely to be convened in December, official sources said.

Under increasing pressure from its allies who are complaining against the alleged misuse of POTA, the Union Cabinet last week cleared the ordinance to amend the tough anti-terror law.

While the three-member Central Review Committee is headed by Justice Arun Saharya, states could also set up such committees to deal with complaints lodged by those charged with POTA.

In case a petition seeking review of POTA charges was moved both before the Central and State Review Committees and there were conflicting findings, the decision of the Central Committee would be binding on the Central, state governments and the investigation officials.

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