Existing law can deal with terrorism: NHRC

NEW DELHI, JULY 12. Even as the Government is keen on enacting a new law to tackle cross-border terrorism and insurgency, the National Human Rights Commission is totally against any such ``draconian'' legislation.

At a meeting yesterday, the Commission, presided over by the chairperson, Mr. Justice J. S. Verma, felt that there was no need for enactment of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2000 or a similar law and that the existing laws were sufficient to deal with ``any eventuality, including terrorism''.

During a meeting last month, the Chief Secretaries of States favoured the introduction of the new law. The NHRC's decision has come as a shock to the Government which planned to introduce the Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.

The meeting, convened to seek the NHRC's opinion, reviewed the draft Bill and the relevant judgments and the views of NGOs.The Commission was unanimous that there was no need for a new law.

The Commission felt that unless there were ``compelling reasons to depart'', its earlier opinion should prevail. ``The real need is to strengthen the machinery for implementation and enforcement of the existing laws and further for this purpose, the working of the entire criminal justice system requires to be strengthened.''