UAPA (Amendment) Bill, 2019

UAPA amendment bill 2019

Theme:-

  • UAPA (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which amended Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 2nd August 2019. Earlier, it was passed in Lok Sabha too. The purpose of this bill is to provide a special procedure to deal with terrorist activities.

Positive side:-

  • There is a need to act tough on terrorism amid growing threats from terrorists. So, strengthening UAPA is necessary.
  • Till now, only organisations were designated as terrorist organisations, but not individuals. The loophole in this is the individuals of the banned organisations are forming new organisations and are carrying terror activities. This amendment bill for Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act allows the government to designate individuals as terrorists, thereby terror attacks can be prevented.
  • To prevent the violation of human rights, four-stage scrutiny is added. Designating individuals as terrorists is not started by India. US, European Union, China also has this provision.
  • There is a growing threat of lone-wolf terrorism. Lone wolf terrorists do not have any association with terrorist organisations, but they commit terror attacks alone by themselves. This new amendment to UAPA has the potential to curb lone wolf terrorism.

Valid points of opposition:-

  • This bill provides more police powers to the central government. The provision of naming individuals as terrorists can be misused. For example, recently several civil activists are termed as Urban Naxals. If anyone opposes the government, they will be vulnerable to be framed as terrorists. Because this amendment made it easier to label anyone as a terrorist.
  • Labelling organisations as terror organisations and labelling individuals as terrorists are quite different. If a person is named as a terrorist, he/she will face social exclusion and will be devoid of livelihood opportunities even if he/she proved otherwise. The consequences will be irreversible. For example, in 2016 alone 67% of the cases ended in acquittal, which means they are probably innocent.
  • If someone is booked under UAPA, the burden of proving their innocence is on them. This new amendment is enabling the government to seize their properties. Then how will they pay for legal expenses to prove their innocence, if they are falsely accused?
  • This bill gave exclusive powers to the ‘National Investigation Agency’ (NIA). NIA can take any person into their custody under UAPA without taking prior permission from the state government. This is against the federalism, which is guaranteed by the constitution of India.

Conclusion:-

In August 2019, the United Nations warned about a possible new wave of terror attacks by the end of this year. So, there is a need to act quickly to protect the country from terrorism. And hence strengthening laws to fight against terrorism is a good step. But exclusive powers to central government is a threat to democracy and to those who fight against the ruling party.

 

Your Turn…

Do you support UAPA (Amendment) Bill, 2019? What are your thoughts on this topic? Express your views through the comment section below. And subscribe to our blog to read answers to the trending GD topics.

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5 comments

  1. In my point of view the act grants some autonomous powers to security agencies and NIA to act toughly against the terrorists. The powers are necessary to maintain the dignity and status of our security agencies. We have seen that many culprits escaped by taking the shelter of law. Our security agencies worked hard to capture all such persons but in the last they escaped themselves by taking advantages of loopholes of law.
    For avoiding it’s bad effects the only way is it’s implementation so that innocent people can not harm by the provision of this.

  2. Im against this bcz these days if u are against Present govt people started addressing u as desh drohi even if u right. Considering the present Indian political dictatorship i said this is wrong

  3. Many bad people can escape but no innocent can be punished,but this bill may do wrong to innocent people.

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