SC to hear plea against amended anti-terror law

    06-Sep-2019
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, Sep 6: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to Centre on a plea challenging the amended anti-terror law that empowers the government to designate an individual as terrorist. This case comes days after the government, using the law, declared Jaish chief Hafiz Saeed and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, among others, as terrorists
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notices to the central government on petitions filed by Sajal Awasthi and an NGO, Association for Protection of Civil Rights (APCR). The plea against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019 said that the amendment was a violation of fundamental rights and right to reputation of a person.
Rajya Sabha has passed the amendments to the UAPA which will now give powers to the Central government to designate an individual as terrorist. “The UAPA, 2019 empowers the ruling government, under the garb of curbing terrorism, to impose indirect restriction on right of dissent which is detrimental for our developing democratic society,” said the plea that was heard by a CJI-led bench. Under the original UAPA Act, the central government could designate a group as a terrorist organisation if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism or is otherwise involved in terrorism.
The amendments, passed by Parliament in July this year, allows the government designate an individual (as opposed to organisation) suspected to have terror links as a terrorist and allows the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to attach properties linked to a terror investigation without taking permission from the state police.