Govt to table proposal to withdraw cattle Bill, amend GCTOC Act

The Gujarat government is scheduled to table a proposal in the state legislature on Wednesday to withdraw the controversial “The Gujarat Cattle Control (Keeping and Moving) in Urban Areas Bill, 2022” on the first of the two-day assembly session.

It will also table an amendment to the Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organised Crime Act, 2015, which proposes three amendments, including definition of “organised crime”.

In view of the upcoming state assembly elections, the BJP government has been under intense pressure to withdraw the Bill passed six months ago. The Minister of State for Urban Development and Urban Housing, Vinod Moradiya, is scheduled to formally inform the Speaker about Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat’s move to return the Bill and ask the government to reconsider it.

Thereafter the minister is expected to table a proposal for withdrawal of the Bill on the first day of the two-day session of the assembly that will be last gathering of the legislators before the elections. Despite opposition by Congress MLAs, the Bill was passed by the Gujarat government on March 31, 2022, the last day of the budget session.

Members of the Maldhari community agitated against the Bill and the state government kept the Bill under “abeyance” till the issue was cleared.

However, faced with continued agitation and with upcoming elections in mind, the state government seems to have to decided to withdraw the Bill, which restricted the movement of cattle in eight municipal corporations and 162 municipalities of the state and proposed to imprison defaulters along with imposing hefty fines.

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Regarding the GCTOC bill, the state government had promulgated an ordinance to effect the amendments in July. The Bill proposes to get a consent of the Assembly for the ordinance.

As per one of the amendments in the ordinance, the words “continuing unlawful activity and terrorist act, including extortion, land grabbing, contract killing, economic offences, cyber crimes having severe consequences, running large scale gambling rackets, human trafficking racket” have been substituted with words “continuing unlawful activity including extortion, land grabbing, contract killing, economic offences, cyber crimes having severe conseque-nces, human trafficking racket”.

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