PUCL Bulletin, March 2005

Letter to Home Minister:

Repeal POTA retrospectively

-- By Syed Shahabuddin

Shri Shivraj Patil,
Minister of Home Affairs,
Government of India,
New Delhi – 110 001.

Dear Home Minister,
As you are aware POTA has been repealed but the POTA cases under prosecution continue. Though the POTA cases are under review, the pace of review is very slow.

One of the most objectionable features of POTA, 2002 was Section 32 which provided that a confession made by a person before a police officer in writing or any mechanical or electronic device shall be admissible in evidence to be used against that person or any co-accused.

The new Act has dropped this provision. This has laid to an anomaly. The person now alleged to be a terrorist does not have to face this legal liability which those accused earlier of the same criminal acts under POTA face. This appears to be discriminatory.

We would, therefore, request you to reconsider the retrospective repeal of the POTA as a whole or, alternatively, Section 32 thereof, at least.

Kind Regards,
Syed Shahabuddin, 15 February 2005


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