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Justice Dinesh Sharma to head UAPA tribunal

Published: 13th Oct, 2022

Context

The Centre has appointed Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma as the presiding officer of the tribunal for the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), related to the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI).

About

  • The National Investigation Agency and Enforcement Directorate had alleged that PFI was engaged in raising and collecting funds from abroad.
  • They were also reported transferring funds to India through “clandestine and illegal channels”.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its front organizations including its student wing- the Campus Front of India (CFI) as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
  • The Muslim organization has been banned for five years along with eight associates or front organizations.

UAPA Law

  • Enacted in 1967, the UAPA was amended to be modelled as an anti-terror law in 2004 and 2008.
  • In August 2019, Parliament cleared the Unlawful Activities (Prevention), Amendment Bill, 2019 to designate individuals as terrorists on certain grounds provided in the Act.
  • In order to deal with terrorism-related crimes, it deviates from ordinary legal procedures and creates an exceptional regime where constitutional safeguards of the accused are curtailed.

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