NATIONAL

Too little, too late, says Congress about POTA

NEW DELHI OCT. 22 . The Congress today said the proposed ordinance to amend the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was "too little too late".

Reacting to the decision of the Union Cabinet to empower the Central/State review committees with statutory powers, the Congress said the party had warned about possible misuse of the Act when the Government used its majority to push through the legislation by calling a joint session of Parliament. "(After) the suggested amendment we are inclined to say we told you so," the party spokesperson, Abhishek Singhvi, told presspersons.

While reserving detailed comments on the proposed legislation till its perusal, Mr. Singhvi wanted to know whether the review would be with retrospective effect and in case of differences between Centre and State review committees, whether a mere amendment was enough to state that the Central review committee's word was final.

Mr. Singhvi suggested that instead of a "patchwork job", there was a need for a complete review of the "draconian law".

The CPI (ML) demanded that POTA be scrapped and said that empowering the committees could not ensure its "political misuse". The party charged that the BJP had enacted POTA with the intention of suppressing people's rights and democratic movements.

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