The Upper House of parliament on Thursday unanimously passed the Anti-Terrorism (second Amendment) Bill, 2013 making the existing laws more stringent with the resolve to curb the menace of terrorism.
The bill moved by Minister for Law and Justice Farooq Naik has already been passed by the National Assembly. The bill aims at dealing with extraordinary circumstances due to the growing number of terrorist incidents and the worsening security situation in the country.
Statement of objects and reasons says the growing menace of terrorism and attacks on armed forces, civil armed forces, law enforcement agencies, civil and government officers and installations have adversely affected the security situation.
The extra-ordinary circumstances demand more stringent laws to curb the terrorist violence and to punish those found involved with a view to create adequate deterrence.
The bill expands the definition of terrorism through an amendment in Section 6, Act XXVII of 1997, according to which the threat of terrorism will now include, intimidating and terrorising the public, social sectors, business community and preparing or attacking the civilians, media persons, government officials, installations, security forces or law enforcement agencies.
The government may, for a period not exceeding 30 days and after recording reasons thereof, issue the order of the preventive detention for any person who has been concerned in any offence under this act relating to national security and sectarianism or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists of his having been so concerned, for purposes of inquiry, said the amended Section 11EE, Act XXVII of 1997.
Amendment of Section 11Q, Act XXVII of 1997 says, “A person other than an accused, claiming the ownership or interest in an property or assets, suspected to be terrorist property, may within a period of fifteen days of the freezing of account or of taking into possession or control of such property or assets, as the case within such extended period as the court may, for reasons to be recorded, allow file his claim before the court. The court after giving notice to the prosecution and hearing the parties shall decide the claim.”
According to another insertion in section 21EE, Act of XXVII of 1997, the superintendent of police during the course of investigation or an equivalent officer of security forces operating in aid of civil power under Section 4 and 5 may by an order in writing on the request of the Joint Investigation Team, (a) call for information from any person for the purpose of satisfying himself whether there has been any contravention of the provisions of this act or any rule per order made there under, (b) require any person to produce or deliver any document useful or relevant to the inquiry or investigation.