IF PASSED, THE FIRST PRIORITY WILL BE!
What’s in news?
Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammed head Maulana Masood Azhar are amongst top names to be proscribed as “terrorist” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019 after the new amendment comes into effect.
- Recently, Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha. It will have to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha to be enacted as a law.
- The government is yet to define the rules that will govern the Unlawful Activities Prevention (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
- This is because several MPs have expressed concerns about the overreaching aspects of the legislation as it could be used by Centre to harass innocent people.
- The proposed amendment to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) that enables the government to designate individuals as terrorists will be used “sparingly”.
- Once the anti-terror law is amended, the first ones to be designated on a priority basis will be Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad’s Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed.
- The UAPA, enacted in 1967 was first amended in 2004 to ban organisations for terrorist activities. In the past 15 years, only 42 organisations like LeT, JeM, SIMI etc. have been banned.
- The official said the process was non-judicial. It will be decided by officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the “burden of proof” will be on the government.
Lack in the bill:
- As of now, there are no specific provisions to initiate legal action against officials who have erred in their decision.
- The police will be able to act against the individual concerned based on the designation, though the jail term and other punitive actions have not been specified yet.
- The first step would be the proposal that has to come from the intelligence agencies.
- The information provided by one agency will be corroborated with another, it has to be credible.
- MHA will examine the proposal and once it is convinced after going through all the records, it will be cleared by the Home Minister and then notified.
- Once the individual has been designated as a terrorist, he or she could file an appeal before the MHA, either in person or through registered post.
- Once the appeal has been filed, MHA will have to decide the case in 45 days.
- The individual will then have an option to appeal before an independent three-member review committee comprising sitting or retired High Court judges.
- The committee will also be appointed by MHA.
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