Sunday, Jun 20, 2004
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By Our Special Correspondent
CHENNAI, JUNE 19. After the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) is repealed, the Centre should enact a new law to tackle terrorism, taking into account the lapses in the POTA, the former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation, C.V. Narasimhan, suggested today.
At a meeting organised by the Observer Research Foundation on ``After POTA, what next?'', he explained that after the repeal of the POTA, it was likely that each State would come up with its own legislation to meet the growing crimes committed by mafia and organised gangs (law and order is a State subject). It was in that context he would advise that the Centre itself come forward with a comprehensive legislation.
He said the new law should be drafted by a well-informed, well-motivated and independent small group. It should work under the National Security Adviser. The drafting work should not be carried out routinely in the secretariat as was being done now. It should be done in consultation with field officers and the prosecution so that their suggestions and the difficulties they came across could be considered. He agreed with a participant's suggestion that the public be educated on the draft legislation and that their views be sought.
He also suggested that ``internal security and integrity of the nation and States'' be brought under the Concurrent List so that the Centre was well empowered to deal with the problem.
Mr. Narasimhan made it clear that the existing laws were not sufficient to cope with the increasing problem of terrorism in view of their deficiencies.
He pointed out that the professional expertise of the police should be increased so that they gave a better account of themselves before courts.
``Excessive involvement in law and order matters has blunted their efficiency in the other task of investigation. The police were gradually losing expertise in investigation.'' Several cases ended in acquittals because the police did not pay attention to the finer details of the case.
A participant, referring to how witnesses turned hostile in sensational cases, said adequate protection should be given to them so that they deposed without fear.
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