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  • Published
    9th Jul, 2020


India has declared nine Khalistani terrorists in designated terror list under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention, UAPA Act to strengthen national security.


The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 aims at the effective prevention of unlawful activities across India and abroad.

  • Its main objective was to provide powers to central agencies and states to deal with terrorist activities.
  • Unlawful activity “refers any action taken by individual or association whether by committing an act or by words, either spoken or written, or by signs to questions, disclaims, disrupts or is intended to disrupt the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India.”
  • The UAPA has been amended on multiple occasions to incorporate the changing techniques of terrorism, from shifting the burden of proof to making extra-territorial arrests.
  • The most recent amendment that came was the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 (UAPA, 2019) which dealt with expanding the definition of “terrorist” to include individuals under Section 35 and 36 of Chapter VI of the Act. 
    • It allows the DG of NIA seizure of property from proceeds of terrorism under Section 25 and the powers of officers with the rank of inspectors and above to investigate cases under UAPA Section 43.
    • A Review Committee to ‘denotify’ the individual notified as a terrorist is also constituted by the Central Government thus removing all the chances of any institutional mechanism for judicial review.

Extent and Application of this Act

  • It is applicable across the entire country.
  • Any Indian or foreign national charged under UAPA is liable for punishment under     this Act, irrespective of the location of crime / offense committed.
  • UAPA will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if crime is committed on a foreign land, outside India.
  • The provisions of this Act apply also to citizens of India and abroad.
  • Persons on ships and aircrafts, registered in India, wherever they may be are also under the ambit of this act.

Does the Act check on Fundamental Rights?

  • The National Integration Council, the Constitution (16th Amendment) Act, 1963, has empowered 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 Form Associations or Unions.
    • Right to assemble peaceably and without arms.

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