The state government today introduced two bills in the Assembly to amend Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982 and bring offenders in cyber crime and sexual offences against women under the Goondas Act. The laws seeks to empower the state to arrest offenders involved in Cyber crime and sexual offences against women for the first offence itself bringing in stringent laws to check such crimes.
Currently the Act, also known as Goondas Act, provides for arresting habitual offenders. Minister for Electricity, Prohibition and Excise Natham R Viswanathan introduced both the bills in the House. Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug-offenders, Forest-offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic offenders, Sand-offenders, Slum-grabbers and Video Pirates Act, 1982 (Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982) provides for preventive detention of certain types of offenders, whose activities have the potential to affect the public order.
The basic requirement for making an order of detention under the said Act in respect of goonda is habitual commission or attempt to commit or abetment of commission of offences specified in the definition of the term 'goonda.' "There are instances where a single act has the potential to disrupt public order and therefore it will not be meaningful to wait for habitual commission of offences by a person before resorting to preventive detention. Hence, there is a need for a provision for preventive detention of such persons even on commission of a single offence, which has the propensity to disturb public order," the statement of objects and reasons of the one of the bills said.
Cyber crime was assuming great importance because of spread of Information Technology and it has the potential to pose a threat to internal security, it said.
As sexual offences against women are prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, the government have announced a 13-point action plan,which includes a proposal to bring sexual offenders within the purview of preventive detention under Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982, the statement of objects and reasons of the other bill, said. "Accordingly, it has been decided to amend the said Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982 so as to bring sexual offenders within the ambut of the said Act," it added.