What is UAPA, and its latest UAPA amendments?
The UAPA bill is seeking to empower the government to deal more effectively by dissuading unlawful activities in India.
The Lok Sabha had passed the bill on July 24 therefore, the bill favours the Modi government’s zero-tolerance policy against terrorism.
The motive of the new amendments is to promote speedy inquiry and prosecution in terror-related offences. The extensively significant part of it is allowing an individual to be designated as a terrorist, a measure that is in line with the global practices.
The amendments seek to allow the government to designate an individual as a terrorist.
— Under the law, personal/financial information of an individual designated as a terrorist can be shared with various Western agencies.
— It gives power to officers of the rank of Inspector of NIA to investigate the offences. The bill seeks to empower NIA to conduct raids anywhere without the relevant state government’s prior permission, a clause that has raised concerns and caused consternation in various quarters. Besides establishing an individual as a terrorist, the bill empowers the NIA to approve to seize/attach property when the case is being probed.
— To allay fears about misuse of the law, the home ministry has said that an individual designated as a terrorist can appeal to the Home Secretary, who will have to dispose of the appeal within 45 days.
— The Centre will compose an inspection commission under the act. An implicated person can appeal against the inclusion of his/her name and seek a hearing before the committee.
— Being not satisfied with the Home Secretary’s decision, the accused can move the committee headed by a sitting/retired judge of a high court and comprising at least two past secretaries of the central government.
— The government said the new law would be used “sparsely”.
— Administrators said the law will furthermore prevent terror masterminds from setting up a new group after their previous costume is outlawed.
The NCRB is yet to publish the crime report for 2018.
The crime report of 2017 shows that the two states with maximum numbers of cases recorded under UAPA are Manipur with more than 35% of cases registered as per the recorded data by NATIONAL CRIME RECORDS DATA (NCRB) which is under Home Ministry in the Rajya Sabha last week.
The State registered 330 cases in 2017 in which 352 persons were arrested.
With 156 cases, Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) recorded 17% of such cases, followed by Assam (133) which reported 14% of all cases registered under it in 2017 in the entire country. Uttar Pradesh (109 cases) recorded 12% and Bihar (52 cases) accounted for 5% of total cases.
Under the UAPA, the investigating agency can file a charge sheet in a maximum of 180 days after the arrests and the duration can be extended further after intimating the court. The anti-terror act has the death penalty and life imprisonment as maximum punishment.
The data that is recorded reveals that the state od U.P. has topped the list in several arrests made under the Act which is nearly one-fourth of the total number of arrests made.
QUESTION OF LAW
Why the UAPA law is often considered as a draconian law, the reason behind it is its tyrannical nature, the earlier laws relating to terrorism protection( TADA & POTA) had a sunset clause, the sunset clause means that the law will have a fixed tenure after which it will cease to have effect but in the cases of UAPA there is no such law which implies to issue any anticipatory bail to the accused. It confirms the detention rather than accusing. The second issue to throw light upon is why Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur has the maximum number of cases of UAPA alarming, where will it take us to? The number of cases certainly indicates the more terrorist activities taking place in the area and the maximum use of the act, this issue is, either way, alarming to take the necessary actions upon.
A speedy rescue is all that is preferred in the country but it must be not against the basic necessary rights of a person. The basic trail and bail based on the accusation is extremely important to a citizen and is his/her basic right and therefore a person shall never be withheld of his basic right, but also be convicted guilty if the evidence affirms so.