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UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES AND PREVENTION ACT: BALANCING NATIONAL SECURITY WITH CITIZEN’S RIGHT

Section: A

Category: Research Paper

Paper Code: RP-GS-17

Page Number: 178 - 191

Date of Publication: February 10, 2021

Citation: Girisha Sinha, Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act: Balancing National Security with Citizen’s Rights, 1, AIJACLA, 178, 178-191, (2021).

Details Of Author(s):

Girisha Sinha, Research Assistant under Advocate Ritesh Kumar, Patna High Court


ABSTRACT Terrorism has always been a threat to most of the sovereign democracies across the globe. India being the world’s largest democratic nation has always remained under the threat of terrorism since its independence. In such a situation, it has become an urgent necessity to counter every terrorist activity through the principle of the Rule of Law. However, the process of maintaining law and order in a country with approximately 130 Crore population spread across several diverse communities cannot be expected to be a smooth one. While encountering terrorist activities for maintaining the country’s sovereignty and integrity, most often such processes come in conflict with the rights of the citizens, and resentment against such processes increases amongst the minds of the affected citizens. Similarly, one of the most significant tools for countering terrorist activities in India has been the Unlawful Activities and Prevention Act which has faced innumerable criticisms from diverse sections of the Indian society. This paper is focused on analyzing the constitutional validity of the Act and its ability to counter terrorism without compromising with the fundamental liberties of the citizens. KEYWORDS Arrest, Citizens, Indian Constitution, Liberties, Terrorism, and Unlawful Activities


INTRODUCTION

This seminar paper on Unlawful Activities Prevention Act: Balancing National security with citizen’s Right, focus on how would new amendment would affect the civil liberties and rights of the citizens of India. The main objective of this paper is to analyze how the UAPA affects the concept of Limited Government.

Human society was in chaos in the early phase of society, the rule of might is right prevailed and this led to exploitation of a lot of people and classes and masses of people specifically of the poor, women, and the so-called low born. The powerful exploited the weak and the saddest part was that this exploitation was sanctioned by the law e.g. The laws in India prevented the Dalits from studying or drinking water from the wells which the upper class used, women weren’t allowed to inherit property. The two biggest examples of exploitation is the mass rape of women by the Japanese army by kidnapping women and making them comfort women and the institutionalized slavery that existed in the west. The world slowly started conceiving the idea that all humans have some inalienable rights. These ideas started to take solid frame in the form of the Magna Carta (1215), the English Bill of Rights (1689), the French Declaration on Rights of Man and Citizen (1789), the US constitution, and the Bill of Rights (1791) but these rights were not available to many people and only a few had the ‘inalienable rights’ which a human has from the virtue of being a human. The blacks weren’t given the right to liberty and their life could be taken by their masters in the era of slavery, women couldn’t vote in France etc.

The major change in the view towards human rights came after World War II after which the concept of these rights being available to all became stronger and global institution were set for the proper enforcement of these rights such as the United Nations Organization which looks that human rights are not violated in any country

India had seen exploitation of rights of people in the past emancipating from religion to from British. The British exploited the Indians at a large scale and even the religious practices prevailing in India were exploitative such as the Sati Pratha etc. Learning from the past experiences and with the will to not repeat the past mistakes the constitution drafters made available certain rights to people which guarantees that the people won’t be exploited by the govt. or by other people and if violated they can approach the Supreme Court of India. These rights are called the fundamental rights and the remedy for their violation is in Art. 32 which reads as ‘the right to constitutional remedies’ which empowers a person to approach the court for the enforcement of these rights. These rights are not absolute but are qualified meaning that there exists reasonable restrictions on the enjoyment of these rights. The reasonable restrictions are there because one can’t enjoy his/her freedom in such a way that it interferes with the freedom of others and if unlimited freedom is granted then it might hamper the security of the nation. E.g. If unlimited freedom of speech is granted to the people it can lead to speeches that can inculcate disaffection towards the State.

This paper aims to study the impact and governance of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2019, and how the government will balance this new act with citizen rights.

The researcher has endeavored to set forth the following objective:

Ø To provide a clear picture of the amendment of the UAPA.

Ø To analyze how this act lead to disputes in the country.

Ø To Study how it violates the Fundamental as well as human rights.


UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT

Historical challenges

Even though the Act has been in power since 1967, the Parliament just embedded a committed Chapter towards rebuffing fear monger exercises in 2004 via the UAPA Amendment Act, 2004. From that point, revisions were made to the enactment in 2008 and 2013 too. Preceding the updating of UAPA, terrorist activities were fundamentally managed under the presently revoked Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 ('TADA') and Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 ('POTA'). Throughout the long term, various difficulties were encountered over the protected legitimacy of both TADA and POTA. These difficulties were basically on the ground that the Union didn't have the authoritative capacity to establish these laws. For example, in Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab, the legitimacy of TADA was tested on the ground that it managed the issue of 'public order', which was inside the administrative area of states. However, the Court maintained the legitimacy of TADA. The Court held that 'public order' covered issues of lesser gravity and more genuine dangers shrouded in TADA fell inside the Union's area identifying with public safeguard. A comparable test was mounted against POTA in PUCL v Union of India, which also was repulsed by the Court on comparative grounds. Paradoxically, the UAPA has never been tested on the ground of administrative capability.


Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1976

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was passed in 1967 to prevent activities that aimed at the cessation of territory of India by a person or group[1]. Though the words used in Sec. 2(5) of the UAPA include person but the main focus was on associations as defined in sec.2 (a) of the Act.

This Act was criticized by many people especially the human right activist as because the arrest made under this Act were termed to be unjust by many and the torture of the detained gave it a further bad name. Many termed this unconstitutional because this violated many rights of the people and it was also against the principle of natural justice. This Act violated Art 21[2] which provides the citizen the right to life and liberty. Moreover, the Act can be termed unconstitutional due to few more reasons:

  • It casts such a wide net of offense that it makes many of the legitimate and constitutional activities a crime

  • A person can be held in custody for six months before even knowing the offense for which he/she has been held

  • The provision for getting bail is next to impossible which goes against the ‘presumption of innocence’ which the constitution provides us with

The principles of natural justice ‘Audi alteram partem’ means that the other party should also be heard but this provision of the Act which provides for the custody of a person for six months before telling her/him the reason for arrest violates this principle. Though in the Indian constitution the principles of natural justice are nowhere mentioned but the judiciary has opined in cases like DTC Mazdoor Union[3] and Maneka Gandhi[4] that principles of natural justice can’t be separated from the constitution because they are embedded in Art 14 of the Constitution of India which talks about equal protection of the law.


PERSONAL LIBERTY IN THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

Fundamental Rights

Personal Liberty in India is an essential right and is assured through the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution were very well aware that how essential private liberty is and what its deprivation meant; this is why they positioned personal liberty in fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. Art 32 offers for ‘Right to constitutional Remedies’ which as per Dr. Ambedkar is the heart and soul of the Indian Constitution because this Article provides the fundamental rights teeth. If a fundamental right is violated then a citizen can approach the Supreme Court underneath Art 32. This displays how tons our constitution framers valued private liberty.

The Constitution of India in its Art 21 guarantees the right to personal liberty. They say that a person can’t be denied the right to life and liberty unless it is done by a process established by law. This article provides two rights to the residents

1. Right to Life

2. Right to Personal Liberty

In AK Gopalan’s case, the majority of the courtroom held that private liberty supposed that freedom from physical restrain, coercion, arrest, and detention

Honorable Supreme Court of India threw mild at the meaning of personal Liberty in Kharak Singh’s case by using counting on the definition given to private liberty in Munn v. Illionis which become that existence meant extra than animal lifestyles

These two rights assured by way of Art 21 of the Indian Constitution aren't absolute and may be taken away through the State consistent with manner mounted through law. The Supreme Court has explained the meaning of procedure established by law in cases such as Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India to be synonymous with the term used in the American context ‘ due process of law’ saying that the process established by law should be fair, just and shouldn’t be arbitrary.


The UAPA Undermines Human Rights Guarantees

The Amnesty International Executive Director reacted to the news that the Jammu and Kashmir police summoned UAPA against columnist Masrat Zahra under Section 13 for 'uploading hostile posts on Facebook with criminal expectations to instigate the young and instigating anti-national activities' and Peerzada Ashiq for stories on 'redirection of COVID testing units' said that it flags the specialists' endeavor to control the privilege to the opportunity of articulation. This terrorizing against columnists jeopardizes the endeavor to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The police approved the arguments brought against the writers saying that Masrat Zahra's post could 'incite public to upset lawfulness' and Peerzada Ashiq's story 'could cause dread or caution in the personalities of public'. He additionally said that UAPA has been utilized to target writers and basic liberties safeguards who criticize government arrangements.

The Jammu and Kashmir police had likewise summoned Section 13 of UAPA against individuals who were getting to online media through VPN's to evade the longest ever web boycott forced by the public authority when it rejected Article 370 of the constitution to isolate the state into two midway directed UT's. The public authority said that it was done to control the abuse of the locales by reprobates for spreading bogus data/gossipy tidbits. However, there ought to be a genuine danger to the security of India if an individual is to be charged under such arrangement and any expression via web-based media ought not be treated as one which causes or is expected to irritate India.

UAPA being a piece of 'security enactment' permits the public authority to capture the residents that may carry out wrongdoings referenced under it. It is hazardous enactment for different reasons. Initially, it doesn't permit disagreement. It condemns simple considerations and political fights that cause "alienation" with the state. It is an attack of residents' entitlement to articulation which is additionally an aggregate right of gatherings and associations to disperse their perspectives and UAPA significantly focuses on this right. Furthermore, it can just be utilized to sidestep basic rights and systems. For example, those captured under UAPA can be imprisoned as long as 180 days without a charge sheet being documented. It consequently straightforwardly disregards Article 21 of the constitution. Thirdly, it gives upon the public authority expansive optional forces and approves the production of extraordinary courts with the capacity to utilize mystery witnesses and to shut public hearings

It is being utilized to stifle disagreement through terrorizing and badgering subsequently undermining the actual presence of public discussion and opportunity of press and condemning the exhibition of common freedoms. UAPA enables the parliament to limit the rights and opportunities of residents to secure 'the sovereignty and integrity of India'. The Government fought that the revision was brought because the people submit the terrorist acts and having power just to assign associations as militant associations would be of no utilization because those people could proceed with their exercises under an alternate name. However, the issue remains whether the parliament under any condition can arrange the person as fear monger simply because it trusts him to be associated with illegal intimidation with no preliminary or at all. The RSS itself in 1992 had been proclaimed unlawful under UAPA yet singular individuals were not captured on exclusively being a piece of the association. Vajpayee in his discourse in 1993 secured that the Government would proclaim all the resistance as unlawful. The public authority, notwithstanding, continues to state that they bear no vindictiveness and just try to keep the nation joined against existential dangers. Henceforth, unmistakably this law can be utilized as a device against the resistance and assaults the actual significance of discourse in a majority rule government for the sake of security.


NEED FOR SECURITY LEGISLATIONS

National Security

Terrorism in India existed even before India got Independence. However, before 1947 terrorists activities were formed with the core objective of creating fears among the British and not among innocent people of India. These groups were not regarded as terrorists rather they were regarded as freedom fighters of India in the wake of Independent India. After Independence, the scenario changed and these terrorists’ activities participated and involved themselves in killing innocent people of India. In early times Kashmir, Punjab, and North-East Frontier were widely affected by terrorism. But over time the scope of terrorism spread broadly to different parts of India. Religious terrorism is the root of all terrorists groups including India. These groups are formed with the intent of creating religious differences in the minds of people belonging to a particular religion. No matter what the real agenda of these terrorists is to spread hate and fear among the naïve people and to create disharmony and chaos in the country.

Some of the major recent incidents of terrorist attack in India are-

1) Serial bombing that killed around 257 people on 12 March 1993.

2) Delhi bombings on 29 October 2003.

3) Ram Janambhoomi attack on Ayodha (2005)

4) Mumbai attack on 26 November 2008.


It is said that after independence, terrorist groups and terrorism got involved in killing people of India and it is evident that it is increasing in the coming days due to various religious groups supporting terrorism in India to a great extent.

Some legislation has been enacted to fight against the terrorism in India.

Following are the anti-terrorism laws in India-

· Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

This act was enacted to deal with associations and activities that create danger or harms the territorial integrity of India. This Act contains provisions that declare secessionist activities as unlawful and puts penalties on their members.

· Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987

This Act may also be called as TADA. It is considered that this Act contains more stringent laws as compared to UAPA. This Act was enacted to deal with the terrorist’s activities in India with more strict provisions.

· The Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, 1999 (MOCO)

This Anti-terrorist law came into force mainly and specifically to deal with the rising organized crime in Mumbai which also includes the underworld.

· Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002

This Act came into force to deal with cross-border terrorism that constantly created the fear of danger towards the integrity and security of India. This Act is found to clearly define the terrorist act and provisions like special powers are also granted to investigating authorities under this Act.


CASE LAW

People’s Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union of India

In this case, the constitutional validity of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 was discussed. This Act provides that to prevent the misuse of power by the investigating authorities and offenses against human rights some safeguards have been established under this Act.

Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2004

This Act has common provisions as compared to POTA. In other words, it can be said that this Act has retained the provisions of POTA and only a nominal change has taken place within this Act.


Romila Thapar v. UOI

On 28th September 2018, a 2:1 majority Bench dismissed the request for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) test into the captures of activists associated with the Bhima Koregaon brutality. The request was documented by five prominent citizens: Romila Thapar, Devaki Jain, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande, and Maja Dharuwala. The applicants had moved toward the Supreme Court in a writ appeal under Article 32 of the Constitution, testing the captures of five activists on 28th August 2018. They contended that the State had subjectively made the captures to control contradict and, along these lines, had disregarded Articles 14, 19, and 21 of Constitution, which ensure fairness, equality, freedom of speech, and individual freedom.

The Maharashtra Police had alleged that the arrested activists are active members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), a banned terrorist organization under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Justice A M Khanwilkar authored the majority opinion, on behalf of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and himself. Justice D Y Chandrachud authored the dissenting opinion.

Terrorism is a crime of lesser gravity compared to the mass killing of individuals in fear-based oppressors assault is currently expanding step by step making the losses of life more noteworthy for a long time. Enactments have likewise neglected to forestall such terrorist militant's assaults in India and enemies of fear-based oppressors' laws have additionally been not able to give successful security to Indian citizens against such illegal intimidation. Because of certain reasons, this enemy of illegal intimidation laws place neglects to give discipline to fear-based oppressors and arising innovations are additionally liable for the expansion in terrorist warfare exercises in India.


LIMITED GOVERNMENT

History

During the times of Monarchy whatever the king or queen said became the law and no one could question it and this led to the exploitation of the people and thus gradual efforts were made to limit the powers of the monarch. The famous French revolution was one such attempt and even in Britain, the parliament started becoming more powerful limiting the powers of the monarch and finally making the monarch just a symbol.

This concept of limiting the power of the ruler so that the people don’t get exploited by the laws made by the monarch gave birth to the concept of limited government which means that the powers of the ruler may be either monarch or democratic government. A limited government has to act under the norms laid down and the power given to it by the people. In the modern era, this power is conferred on to the government by the constitution and the very same constitution puts restrictions on the government as well. This concept of limited government is one of the pillars of democracy without which democracy will collapse.

In the Indian concept, this limitation of power can be seen in the form of the judicial review[5] where the judiciary can strike any provision off if it finds it to be unconstitutional. In Minerva Mills case[6] the Supreme court held that judicial review can’t be overridden and is a basic structure. Moreover, the separation of power as provided by the constitution of India also puts a check on the government by making sure that none of the organs of the government becomes all-powerful.


Impact of UAPA on the Concept of Limited Government

UAPA especially after the amendment gives enormous power to the government to silence the dissenting opinion. Criticism of the government is one of the basic features of democracy, if the people are criticizing the government it means that the people expect something from the government, and expectation from the government is the biggest success of democratic machinery. In an autocratic form of government, people accept whatever is being served to them as their fate and there are very few voices of dissent due to the harsh measures of the autocratic form of punishment by the government. Such an example is North Korea where people are living a miserable life but they hardly protest against the government due to strict punishments.

With UAPA giving a wide array of powers to term many activities as unlawful this will silence the voices that criticizing the government thus starting the collapse of the democratic machinery in the State[7]. The recent example of tagging many human rights activists, academicians etc as urban Naxals is a very good example of how these laws can be misutilised for turning down the voices decanting from government opinion.


Effect of UAPA on Democracy

The Bill drew fire on two records. One, the new changes subvert common liberties. Also, the changes sabotage the construction of Indian federalism. Presently the focal government can assign people as terrorist activities by bringing them inside the fourth timetable of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. Any individual, who upholds terrorist activities, takes an interest, or engages in illegal intimidation will be assigned as a terrorist through the change.

Also, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been enabled to examine offenses under the Act. In this manner, NIA will practice simultaneous investigatory powers alongside the state police, and the NIA has a coincidental ability to approve the capture of the property achieved out of the returns of illegal intimidation. Preceding the revisions, just associations that were engaged with terrorist militant activities accomplished the assignment of a 'terrorist association'. Any individual associated with the assigned terrorist association confronted discipline. The reasoning, as indicated by the public authority, for presenting a singular assignment is that an individual could be a terrorist without being a piece of an association. What at that point is the legitimate impact on assigning a person as a militant under the UAPA? Nothing.

For example, if the UN assigns an individual as a worldwide terrorist, the impact that follows is that his resources could be frozen, travel boycott and arms ban could be forced. Additionally, if the US assigns an unfamiliar individual as a terrorist, his property could be impeded, his exchanges in the US could be disallowed and common or criminal punishments could be forced. There are no such extra punishments or arrangements that the assigned individual terrorist in India will pull in on such assignment. People who embrace terrorist exercises, regardless of whether a piece of a terrorist association was rebuffed on legal settling preceding the correction for submitting terrorist acts, contriving for directing a terrorist act, putting together a terrorist camp, etc. Subsequently, this alteration accommodating individual assignment has no impact under the legal arrangements, since the individual should be attempted by the legal executive before he could be rebuffed. Nonetheless, an unfair assignment could add up to social rejection and hardship of the job of the assigned person, which falls inside the ambit of right to life and freedom under Art 21 of the Constitution. Thusly, the focal government will mark an individual as a terrorist without an arbitration by the legal executive. Such clearing power in the possession of the focal government is problematic.

Section 2(k) read with Section 15 of the UAPA states that terrorism should include viciousness, which causes passing, harm of property, interruption of the nation's fundamental supplies, hijacking or snatching of public functionary with an expectation to disturb the integrity of India. The meaning of terrorist activities embraced by the UN (Security Council goal 1566(2004)) additionally requires a clear demonstration of brutality that causes passing or injury. Notwithstanding, the Home Minister while offering an explanation to the complaints against the Bill in the house, seen that extremists utilizing writing to proliferate scorn against the public authority and 'Metropolitan Naxalites' will likewise must be viewed as terrorists. This meaning of terrorist warfare that the public authority has furnished doesn't align with the meaning of terrorism under the UAPA. This means that however, the alteration to the UAPA doesn't disregard the right to speak freely under Art 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution, its execution could influence its infringement.

Even though the legislatures' definition isn't consistent with the legal meaning of terrorism, the focal government could in any case proceed to assign people as terrorists without legal mediation on what they see to mean terrorism. The lone watch that is put through law on the focal government's ability to assign, is an application for de-warning of the assignment that could be raised. This application will be given to a survey panel, which will likewise be selected by the local government itself. Regardless of whether the audit board of trustees signifies the individual, the repercussions of an illegitimate warning will be cataclysmic, notwithstanding, how brief the time frame maybe.

Regardless of whether the 'revolutionary' discourse impacts bringing disdain against the public authority, it is an offense that is as of now covered under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as the offense of sedition. Accordingly, the alteration would prompt impedance with legal working, and infringement of the ability to speak freely, right to occupation, etc. The next objection is concerning the NIA correction is that it is against the government. The contention of the defenders of the counter federalism protest is that the NIA (a focal organization) can direct examination simultaneous to the state police and the NIA can hold onto properties in the state. Initially, it is to be perceived that in India's government structure, the state and the Union are not independent compartments. They are fairly related to one another, with the Center overwhelming the state in certain unforeseen circumstances. The Union under the protected plan has more noteworthy control over the states, be it through the number of things that the Center can enact upon, or the administration of the Union on things that both the state and the Union can administer upon, or through the crisis arrangements.

Further, all the significant security-related heads, for example, the guard and the military are set under the association list for the Center to enact upon. Even though India's established design, it is obvious that the Constituent Assembly members pointed toward giving the Center more force regarding the matter of security of the country. Since terrorism is straightforwardly connected to the security of the nation, NIA's ability to explore and hold onto property situated in various states (which are not state properties, however, are properties situated in states) will fall inside the sacred plan of Indian federalism. The refreshed law however isn't hostile to the government yet has enough teeth to disregard the fundamental common liberties of the citizens. It is probably going to debilitate India's majority rule government.


Is New Amendment In Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 Transgressing The Fundamental Right In The Name Of Security Of State?

The most important thing for which the government is obliged is the safety of its citizens and the protection of their rights. The security of an individual is of utmost importance. For, past two decades, terrorism has drastically affected the world as a whole, degrading human life, jeopardizing peace and security, and threatening the social and economic development of a nation. Therefore many laws have been implemented across the world by different countries to counter-terrorism. If we talk about India, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 is the most long-standing counter-terrorism legislation in India. In the 2008 Amendment of UAPA, it gave the government power to declare any organization as unlawful associations if they commit unlawful activity for 5 years. Even if a person has membership of an unlawful association, he/she is punishable under UAPA for an imprisonment of 2 years.

Now, in 2019 as per the new amendment, the new or the amended section 35 of UAPA 1967, gives immense power to the central government to categories any person as a terrorist and add his/her name in Schedule 4 of this act. Central government is conferring unbound power this act gives power to the officers of the rank of inspector of NIA to investigate the offenses under chapter V and chapter VI. The bill will empower NIA to conduct raids anywhere without the relevant state government’s prior permission. Besides designating an individual as a terrorist, the bill empowers the NIA to approve to seize /attach property when the case is being probed. Under this law, the personal/financial information of an individual designated as a terrorist can be shared with various western agencies.

Under this amendment central government has discretionary power to declare any individual a terrorist which is antithesis to Article 14[8] of the constitution of India. Just on a mere suspicion of state or police that an individual is a terrorist, the property of the accused can be seized without any court order, and it a clear violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution[9]. This act does not give an individual who is charged with terrorism to present his/her case. Section 35 of this Act also violates

Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian constitution, Right to dissent is a part and parcel of the fundamental right to free speech and expression and hence it cannot be abridged in any case except for mention in Article 19 (2)[10]. Somewhere this act also violates the Right to the reputation of a person which is an important aspect of the right to life with dignity even before the commencement of trial or any application of judicial mind over it, did not amount to following the ‘procedure established by law’. Labeling a person as a terrorist is equivalent to civil death of a person, expulsion from the job, media hounding, threat of life, attacks from vigilante groups, abandonment by society, and many more. By labeling someone as a terrorist without even commencement of the trial is vague. The government sought to encroach upon the dignity of the individual instead of preserving it. This act provides only one statutory remedy available to the person that is to make an application to the central government for the de-notification and the committee named review committee established by the government will look for the matter.

United Nation released a report in which it raised several questions regarding violation of rights in India which is the world's biggest democracy is not complying with the Paris Principles properly. It may happen that because of this new UAPA India may become a cause of International Criticism.


CONCLUSION

If we talk about general global issues Terrorism is one of the most important and brutal issues of the world. Different countries have different provisions regarding terrorism. The United Nations general assembly is also adopting its ‘Global Counter-Terrorism Activities’.

In India also Home Minister have passed a new bill which amended the UAPA 1967, for the benefit of the National Security and it’s a counter-terrorism law. But this new amendment raised many questions concerning the Rights of the Citizen and National Security. Many PIL has been filed against this new law stating chapter VI of UAPA as unconstitutional. Even Former Union Minister P.Chidambaram raised a question about the need for such an amendment and the opposing party was opposing the bill. Mr. Chidambaram said “We are opposing such mischievous amendment which gives the central government power to declare any individual as terrorist” He further added “Only because you believe a person to be a terrorist you will arrest him? What is the basis of naming an individual as a terrorist?” Why name an individual as a terrorist when the organization he is affiliated to is already banned?” Defending the amendment Home Minister Mr. Amit Shah said “This act is to fight terror and has no other purpose”.

The birthplace of the terrorism is individual psychology rather than an institution. We have often seen that an individual attracts other individuals into terrorism by providing financial and ideological support that should be stopped, this menace can be finished with this new amendment. After following the due process of law, designating an individual as a terrorist is of prime importance to nip terrorism in the bud. And this amendment also sends a strong message to the world that there will not be any compromise with the human life and dignity. India is committed to finish terror from the soil.

On the other hand, many people believe that this amendment is a miscarriage of justice, as it doesn’t only violate the fundamental right of a citizen but also it’s a weapon of government to make this country a “Hindu-Chauvinistic” an idea to make India a Hindu Rashtra. The government can easily use this law against minorities if they want. It also gives govt. the power to tag an individual who is rebellious as a terrorist who is against the social and economic antagonism in this unjust society. Under Rowlatt Act during British Occupied India, freedom fighters were expressing their will to free their motherland, and also they did not stop struggling. This new amendment in UAPA is going to give rise to resistant voices against the ultra-right-wing administration of our country just as the Rowlatt Act did in British-occupied India. The government must maintain a balance between fundamental rights and National Security.


[1] UAPA Act 1976, Sec. 2(5). [2] Constitution of India 1950. [3] DTC Mazdoor Union 1991 AIR101, 1990 SCR Supl. (1) 142. [4] Maneka Gandhi 1978 AIR597, 1978 SCR (2) 621. [5] Constitution of India 1950, Art. 13. [6] Minerva Mills AIR1980 SC 1789. [7] Constitution of India 1950, Art 12. [8] Constitution of India 1950, Art 14. [9] Constitution of India 1950, Art 21. [10] Constitution of India 1950, Art 19 (2) -Nothing in sub clause (a) of clause ( 1 ) shall affect the operation of any existing law, or prevent the State from making any law, in so far as such law imposes reasonable restrictions on the exercise of the right conferred by the said sub clause in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.

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