Heated public discussion since the Mumbai terror attacks has revolved around the possible revival of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, PoTA, or a version of it.
PoTA was controversially enacted in March 2002, by the then Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, specifically designed to prevent and deal with terrorist activities. It was then repealed by the current Congress-led government in 2004.
It has begun to look now as if we need a stronger mechanism to deal with terror.Was PoTA that stronger mechanism? Was it repealed too hastily? It’s certainly a good time to refresh our memories about whyexactly PoTA was repealed, and to find out which parts of it arelikely to emerge again in any new legislation.
To discuss these questions, we have two guests with us on Just to Clarify. Professor C Raj Kumar is the chief executive officer of the Jindal Global University and the Jindal Global Law School. He is also an honorary consultant to the National Human Rights Commission, and he has been a consultant to the International Council for Human Rights Policy.
We also have with us Tanveer Ahmed Mir, who runs a New Delhi law firm named Lex Alliance. Mr. Mir deals exclusively in criminal litigation,and he has handled more than a dozen cases under PoTA, including assisting Ram Jethmalani in the Parliament attack case.