AMENDMENT IN U.A.P.A.1967: CREATE A LIFE LONG STIGMA ON INDIVIDUAL’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT
“ Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in It.”
Dr. Ambedkar described Fundamental Rights as the most citizen part of the Constitution. Fundamental Rights were deemed essential to protect the rights and liberties of the people against the encroachment of the power delegated by them to their government. These are the rights without which the essence of true human development and survival can not be guaranteed. Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act,2019 has modified Chapter VI, Section 25,35,36,38,43,45 which in some way violates the Fundamental Right of the individual. The only objective of this amendment is to the prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and organizations and other matters connected to them.
Amendment in the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act are as follows
Amendment in Section 35 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967 empowers the central government to designate an organization or individual as a terrorist if the organization or the person commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism, or is otherwise involved in terrorism. And also add the name of such an individual in the fourth schedule of the act.
This Amendment act also adds that the approval of the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would be required for the seizure of property if the investigation is conducted by the officer of the National Investigation Agency. This act also empowered the officers of the National Investigation Agency of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases. The Amendment act adds another treaty to the list (comprised of nine treaties) i.e. International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005)
One of the important step taken by this Amended act is that it directly crackdown a terrorist to curb terrorism and maintain peace whereas before this amendment if an organization (which commit, participate, promotes or otherwise involved in terrorism) was designated as a terrorist then its members could float to another organization. Recently many persons or heads of organizations (indulge in promoting, commit terrorism) i.e. Jaish-e- Mohammed, Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim are designated as individual terrorists by the central government under the new anti-terror law. This Amended act is aggressive to the terrorist and is a part of the government with 0% tolerance.
Is this Amended Act unconstitutional?
Article 13(2) says that if any law made in contravention of a fundamental right shall, to the extent of contravention be void. This Amendment act violates the Fundamental Right of individual who designated as terrorist in the following ways:
It is the foremost responsibility of the State to protect the life and personal liberty of the citizen of India as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. In spite of this, the Amended Act empowered the Central Government to designate an individual as a terrorist and add the name of such individual in the Fourth Schedule of the act without any judicial application of mind, is in violation of the right to reputation which is an integral part of Article 21 of the constitution of India.
It is one of the important responsibilities of the State is to given the person the equal protection of law and equality before the law as provided under Article 14 of the Constitution of India. But Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 does not specify the detailed ground of reason on which an individual termed as a terrorist, that conferring absolute, unfettered, and discretionary power upon the central government which amounts to a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The absence of arbitrary power or supremacy of the law is one of the principles of the Rule of Law as given by Dicey. This Amended Act does not give an opportunity to an individual who categorized as a terrorist to justify his/her case before the trial is contravention to the settled cannon of the criminal jurisprudence.
It is one of the foremost responsibility of the State, to protect certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc. as guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India, but the amendment in section 35 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967 directly affects the fundamental rights to free speech and expression as it empowers the ruling government under the grab of curbing terrorism, to impose a restriction on right to dissent which is an integral part of fundamental right to free speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the constitution of India.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 centralizes the power and all power of investigation given to the central government.
In a nutshell, we can say that Fundamental rights represent the basic value of the individual and create conditions in which every human being can develop his personality to the fullest extent. But this amendment act, in many ways, affected the fundamental rights of individuals who designated as terrorists without judicial application of mind. Moreover, the Act has also empowered the Central Government to designate an individual as a terrorist and add the name of that individual in the Fourth Schedule of this act. But the positive aspect is that this Amended act directly
crackdown a terrorist to curb terrorism and maintain peace which is not before. This act is nothing but the part of government 0% tolerance. The present scenario says that such an amendment has proved to be non-effective and violates Part III of the Constitution of India.
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