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CPM has reservations on anti-terror bills

December 17, 2008 19:34 IST

Expressing reservations on some clauses in the two bills introduced in the Lok Sabha relating to a federal agency and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment, the Communist Party of India-Marxist on Wednesday demanded the proposed legislations be referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament.

CPM general secretary Parkash Karat said the party has some reservations on some of the clauses in the National Investigation Agency Bill and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendments Bills introduced in the Lok Sabha by Home Minister P Chidambaram.

He asked the Centre not to hustle through the two Bills.

Referring to the NIA bill, Karat said the agency should associate the government of the state in which the terror incident takes place as the bill proposed that the NIA would investigate the terror case on its own.

"We demand that if some incident takes place in a state, the state government concerned should also be associated by the NIA in the investigation.

"The association of the state agencies with the NIA probe would ensure a fair probe. India, being a large country, the states have different background for the incidents of terror. In North East, the ULFA is active and in other states there are other groups about which the state agencies, including the intelligence, would have much better information due to their day-to-day functioning," he said.

The CPI-M would move an amendment seeking association of the state agency with the NIA.

Karat said some of the amendments proposed in the UAPA, Bill were "not right and need to be changed."

"We will oppose the proposal to increase the period for denial of bail from 90 days to 180 days as the present period should be sufficient for completion of the investigation," he added.

He said the party would also oppose the proposal to arm the police with the power to detain anyone on the ground that he refused to part with the information which the cop "believes" can be helpful to him in investigations.

"The proposal provides for a jail term of three years to the persons refusing to share the information with the police," Karat said adding the proposal can be misused.

Karat said the proposal to arm the police to detain anyone who declines to share information which the police "believe" he has is "stringent. It cannot be left to the police officer. We oppose this amendment."

He said CPI(M) supports the suggestion of BJP leader L K Advani [Images] that the proposed bills be kept pending for the next session so that discussion can take place in the intervening period.

"Both are important bills. We demand they should be sent to the Standing Committee and should not be rushed through in the Parliament," the CPI-M leader said.

He regretted that "our probe commences after an incident, including the latest terror attacks in Mumbai. Our probe is after the incident. The important issue is that we should be probing our intelligence failure," he added.

Karat said the intelligence gathering system in the country needs to be strengthened. "The Joint Intelligence Committee also needs to be set right in its functioning," he added.

"The lack of coordination amongst different intelligence gathering agencies should also be considered by the government and remedial steps be taken to set the things right," Karat said.

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