LeT cheif's son designated as terrorist under UAPA
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has designated son of the chief of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, as a “terrorist “ under the Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act (UAPA).
- The LeT chief was the first among four to be designated as a terrorist under the amended UAPA law in 2019
Unlawful (Activities) Prevention Act (UAPA)
- It was enacted in 1967 to target separatist organisations
- It gives special procedures to handle terrorist activities, among other things.
- Aim: effective prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
- Unlawful activity: it refers to any action taken by an individual or association intended to disrupt the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India
- Both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged under the act
- The offenders will be charged in the same manner whether the act is performed in a foreign land, outside India.
- The amendment done in 2019 in the act allowed an individual to be designated as a terrorist by the central government if it believes that he is involved in terrorism
- Death penalty and life imprisonment the highest form of punishment under the act
- NIA and state police are designated to carry out investigation against the terrorists
- The investigating agency has up to 180 days to file a charge sheet so getting bail is very tough.
Need of UAPA
- UAPA has been enacted to provide for more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of associations and individuals and for dealing with terrorist activities
Benefits of UAPA
- It makes the process smooth to designate an individual as a terrorist in line with international practices
- It facilitates speedy investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences.
- It prevents certain illegal acts of people and organizations especially related to terrorism
The right to dissent, the rule of law, and a fair trial are all infringed by this act.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 4,231 FIRs were registered under various provisions of the UAPA between 2016 and 2019, with 112 cases resulting in convictions.
This law infringes on our fundamental right to free speech because there is no solid proof and no prospect for a fair trial.
This law is very much helpful in designating and prosecuting offenders of national sovereignty and integrity like the one done recently but it must be balanced with Right to free trial and Right to speech of an individual to prove his/her innocence
- Right to Speech and free trail