Bill permits police to snoop on all forms of communication

The interception should provide proof of any offence related to an organised crime

September 08, 2021 05:44 pm | Updated 05:44 pm IST - KOCHI

The draft Kerala Control of Organised Crime Act (KCOCA) permits police to snoop on all forms of communication if such interception may provide or has provided evidence of any offence related to an organised crime.

A police officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police (SP), who is supervising the investigation of an organised crime, can approach the competent authority to be formed for the purpose of seeking permission for interception. The application for interception shall include details of the investigating and the supervising officers, the offence committed, the nature and location of the facilities from which the communication is to be intercepted, and the identity of the persons involved in the crime, the Act suggests.

The Hindu had reported that a panel led by the State Chief Secretary was all set to review the draft bill.

A committee led by the State Chief Secretary shall review the orders of the competent authority in 10 days. If the permission is rejected, the interception shall be discontinued forthwith and the collected information destroyed.

Custodial confession

The confession made before a police officer not below the rank of SP will be admissible as evidence against the person making the confession, according to the bill. This is an exemption made to the Section 25 of the Indian Evidence Act, which states that no confession made to a police officer shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence, point out legal experts.

Before recording the confession, the police officer shall explain to him that he is not bound to make the confession and it may be used as evidence against him. The confessions shall be recorded in a free atmosphere in the same language in which the person is examined and as narrated by him, the Act proposes.

The proceedings in the case shall be held in-camera if the Special Court trying the case desires so. The court shall keep the identity of any witness secret on its own or on applications made by a witness or a Public Prosecutor in the case.

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