Govt may repeal POTA

Law Minister has said that Govt did not relish POTA and steps would be taken to repeal or amend the controversial anti-terrorism law.
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Updated on May 24, 2004 09:30 PM IST
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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, New Delhi

Law Minister HR Bharadwaj on Monday has said that the Congress-led Government did not relish POTA and steps would be taken to repeal or amend the controversial anti-terrorism law.

"We do not relish POTA. I will discuss the issue with the Home Ministry very soon to get it repealed or bring some amendment to it," Bharadwaj told reporters after assuming office.

However, he said he was not sure when it will be repealed or amended.

"My opinion on POTA will be given to the Home Ministry," Bharadwaj said.

When asked that POTA has been grossly "misused", the new Law Minister said "if it was such, it was absurd and has to be redressed".

Bharadwaj said unfilled vacancies of judges in the High Courts was a matter of concern and he would give priority to find out why this has happened.

"I will investigate why vacancies of judges remained pending in the High Courts," he said and vowed to restore the confidence of the people in judiciary which witnessed some scandals in the recent past.

"The recent scandals in judiciary did not speak of a happy situation. It is a major problem and I will speak to the Chief Justice of India as to how to improve the shoddy image of judiciary," the Law Minister said.

Promising that the Ministry would come out with a charter of reforms, Bharadwaj said the emphasis would be on the prompt and speedy disposal of cases.

Bharadwaj said the NDA government's idea of creating a National Judicial Commission (NJC) for appointment of High Court and Supreme Court judges "is a misnomer and unrealistic".

"I will talk to the Bench and the Bar and decide on a procedure which is harmonious as the NJC is not a good idea," he said.

Severely criticising the NDA government for "rushing through" the idea of establishing the National Judicial Commission, he said this proposal had been "a non-starter. I will not pursue it. I will have a dialogue with the Bench and the Bar to evolve a harmonious process."

Earlier, the senior officers of Law Ministry, including Secretary Legislative Department, TK Vishwanathan and Member Law Commission, KN Chaturvedi, accompanied the new minister to his office.

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