Published: 10th March 2021
What the FAQ: Over 72 per cent rise in UAPA cases since 2019, what does the Act entail?
In July 2019, the ambit of UAPA was expanded. It was amended allowing the government to designate an individual as a terrorist without trial
The Ministry of Home Affairs told the Lok Sabha that there has been over 72 per cent increase in the number of persons arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA. The shocking revelation has shed light again on the alleged misuse of the law, since many academicians, activists, writers and poets have been in prison over the last couple of years. Here we tell you what the law is and why it was constituted.
What is the full form of UAPA?
The full form of UAPA is Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act aimed at the prevention of unlawful activities associations in India.
What is the main objective of the Act?
The main objective of the Act is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. The BJP led NDA government claimed that in order to implement the provisions of the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act1963 Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill was introduced in the Parliament. However, the provisions of the UAPA Act contravenes the requirements of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
How was the Act enacted?
The recommendation of the Committee on National Integration and Regionalism appointed by the National Integration Council, the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963, was enacted empowering Parliament to impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India, on the: Freedom of Speech and Expression, Right to Assemble peaceably and without arms and Right to Form Associations or Unions. In July 2019,the ambit of UAPA was expanded. It was amended allowing the government to designate an individual as a terrorist without trial. The previous versions of the Bill allowed for only groups to be designated as terrorists
Why is the UAPA in the news?
The Lok Sabha was informed that there has been over 72 per cent increase in the number of persons arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA (Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act) in 2019 compared to 2015, data provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs stated.
What is the criticism against UAPA?
The main criticism against UAPA is that it has the power to throw anyone in jail without a proper court trial and based purely on suspicion. Most recently, it has been used against those known to speak up for the oppressed, those who campaign for civil rights and people who oppose or criticise the government and its policies. Most recently, the UAPA was used for those who participated in the CAA protests. Several intellectuals and activists have also been jailed over the Bhima Koregaon incident of 2018 despite the police not having enough evidence to prove their participation.