Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has made an important decision to amend the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act to re-affirm Gujarat’s identity of a peaceful, safe and secure state. Rupani has made amendments in PASA Act and expanded its applications to all those involved in cyber-crime activities, physical violence and intimidation of weaker sections, loan sharks, charging illegal interest installments against money borrowers, sexual harassment and related offenses.
The Gujarat Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA) 1985 is operational in the state since 1985.People committing offences under the IPC and the Arms Act, people acquiring private and government properties illegally, drug offenders, bootleggers, gamblers, people involved in prostitution, cow slaughter etc. are charged as per the PASA 1985. Amendments in the PASA Act will be instrumental in curbing various crimes across the state. People committing cybercrimes or those abetting in the same will be charged under IT Act,2000.
The PASA act was implemented earlier in case a person was found guilty of gambling and committed the crime again within three years of being convicted. Under the new provisions of the PASA act, offenders will be convicted under the PASA Act in case they are caught gambling at any given point of time. Other amendments that have been encapsulated under the PASA include people violating Chapter-9 of the PASA Act. This includes people engaged in illegal activities related to money lending and all those abetting the same, or those trying to harass and physically abuse money borrowers and take possession of their land, threatening them etc.
The act has also been expanded to ensure and safeguard women in Gujarat. Individuals who commit or attempt to commit or abet in offenses under various sections of the Indian Criminal Code, 1860, as well as the POSCO Act, are now separately included in the PASA Penal Code. People committing offenses under Chapter-16 and 17 of the IPC were investigated under the PASA act. The new provisions will also include offenders under Chapter-8 or 16 (except sections-354, 354 (a), 354 (b), 354 (c), 354 (d), 376, 376 (a), 376 (b), 376 (c), 376 (d) or 377) or Chapter-17 or Chapter-22. An ordinance will be proposed by the Chief Minister in the upcoming State Cabinet meeting regarding the same A.