He may have been part of the team that drafted the Anti-Gang Act. However, former minister in the Ministry of National Security Subhas Panday now says the law should be reviewed. Panday made the comment yesterday as several people appeared before magistrates around the country charged with being gang members under the legislation. The former minister, speaking with reporters outside the San Fernando Supreme Court, called the legislation "draconian."
He said: "I have one regret in the Anti-Gang legislation...I have one regret in that when the legislation was passed, we did not put in any mechanisms to prevent abuse. "Now they pursue other processes to show the abuse but, in hindsight now, the legislation is too draconian," he lamented. Under the act, gang-related offences are non-bailable.
People charged would remain in custody for 120 days pending the start of their court matters. However, if within the 120 days, the matter is not started, the accused has the right to apply to a judge in chamber for bail. Panday said: "We are now in a state of emergency. I believe that in due course they should look at the legislation right. Now the population wants action and you cannot object to that, but at the same time if you are responsible and you are sure the rogue element in the police force do not take advantage of the law."