At a feedback session on KAAPA, board chairman V. Ramkumar said Section 15 of the Act, which dealt with restricting the movement of a person, was rarely used in the district.
The advisory board on the Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) has asked the district police to prepare watertight proposals for invoking the provisions of the Act so that the Act could be used more effectively in curbing crime.
Addressing a feedback session on KAAPA, popular as the Goonda Act, at the District Police Chief’s office here on Monday, board chairman V. Ramkumar said Section 15 of the Act, which dealt with restricting the movement of a person, was rarely used in the district.
In the seven years since the Act came into vogue, only two such criminals were made to stay out of the district using KAAPA. In the first two years, 2007 and 2008, there was not a single proposal from the district police, while in 2009, there was one, which the board agreed to. The next two years, 2010 and 2011, went without proposals, while the only one in 2012 was shot down by the board. In 2013, the sole proposal was approved.
The Act, board member Paul Simon said, had to be used cautiously since it dealt with curbing the fundamental right of freedom to movement. At the same time, the Act could be effective in curbing criminal activities to a major extent. Officers preparing proposals would have to be accurate and meticulous while doing so and at the same time, remember that several categories of offenders could be restrained under the Act, right from bootleggers and drug offenders to digital data copyright offenders and hired ruffians. So far, the Act was sparingly used against such offenders.
Expressing doubts whether even senior police officials knew the significance of Section 15 of the Act, another board member Thomas Mathew said the Act would go a long way in curbing crime if used judiciously. He also dealt with the nuances that would have to be ensured to prevent proposals from being rejected.
Board secretary Joseph Rajan said the Board was planning to interact with Excise and Forest officials to see how bootleggers and those committing crimes under the Forest Act could be tackled using KAAPA.