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Comprehensive laws to check terror soon: Moily

K.V. Subramanya

CHICKABALLAPUR: Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Friday said the Centre would come out with comprehensive anti-terrorism laws in accordance with the recommendations of the Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC), headed by him.

Mr. Moily, who assumed office as the Law Minister in New Delhi, told The Hindu on phone that after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, the Centre had made some changes to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act as suggested by the ARC.

However, many of the recommendations on fighting terrorism were yet to be implemented. In the coming days, the government would make certain changes in governance and administration to tackle terrorism, he said.

During the election campaign, Mr. Moily had told The Hindu that he had to enter the Lok Sabha to complete his “half-finished and unfinished agenda” of implementing the ARC recommendations and giving a push to expansion of central education institutions. He represents Chickaballapur in the Lok Sabha.

The ARC, in its 185-page report submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in September 2008, had said the existing laws were not enough to counter terrorism and recommended a comprehensive anti-terrorism legislation. “A comprehensive and effective legal framework to deal with all aspects of terrorism needs to be enacted,” the ARC said in its eighth report titled “Combating Terrorism.”

As Chairman of the ARC, Mr. Moily had said that the present laws were inadequate to tackle the menace. The new laws should also have enough safeguards to prevent misuse. A legal provision to deal with terrorism could be incorporated in a separate chapter in the National Security Act, 1980, and no person accused of an offence punishable under the NSA should be released on bail, he had recommended.

The ARC also suggested setting up of special fast track courts for exclusive trial of terrorism-related cases. Measures should also be taken to block the flow of funds for financing terrorist activities, it said.

Taking a strong view on financing of terrorism, the commission recommended suitable amendments in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to widen its scope and outreach. On steps to block flow of such funds, it said the new legal framework on terrorism may incorporate provisions regarding freezing of assets, funds, bank accounts, deposits and cash when there was reasonable suspicion of their intended use in terrorist activities.

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