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Published in the 16-31 Oct 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

AIMMM welcomes repeal of POTA 

New Delhi: Syed Shahabuddin, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), welcomed the repeal of POTA. He said in a statement: 

"The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) welcomes the repeal of POTA and expresses the hope that the cases of all those under detention/prosecution under POTA shall be urgently reviewed so that the cases against whom there is no prima facie evidence are withdrawn and those against whom there is some prima facie evidence are charged under existing penal laws.

“The AIMMM, however, finds that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (Amendment) Bill, 2004 is a mixed bag with several welcome as well as some objectionable provisions. 

“The AIMMM welcomes the positive elements, including the inadmissibility in evidence of confession to the police, the bail provision and the inclusion of offences under Section 153A and 153B of the IPC as unlawful activities.
“The objectionable provisions in the Ordinance pertain to: a) Admissibility in evidence of telephone and email interception without any procedural safeguards; b) Substantive procedural difference in tackling unlawful and terrorists organizations.

“The AIMMM considers that terrorism is also an unlawful activity and both should be dealt with under a common procedure which has inbuilt legal safeguards against misuse.

“The AIMMM expresses the hope that in drafting the Bill to replace the Ordinance, the Government shall take the democratic opinion in the country into consideration."

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