If you look around, would you notice and mark the uprising of crime and illegal activities that stride against the liberty of either a particular individual or an entire nation many times? Have you? Yes, we all have. That is because in the vast growing and emerging population of this globe, vileness and evil minds will never seem to rest. With rise of the inhabitants globally, there is a keen proximity of these criminal and unlawful acts to keep gaining momentum and never hit an end because till the world persists, people persist, till people persist, heinous and nasty minds persist, and till they persist, the relevant criminal and unlawful activities stats will burgeon with a bigger rate than each prior year.
Now, the world revolves around the condensed notion ‘every problem has a solution’. When any certain form of problem takes place whether personal, national or global, it’s solution always find its way. Similarly, to deal with the unlawful and illegal activities, each country or nation has its own set of principles and rules to deal with such issues accordingly embedded in their constitution.
India has implemented UAPA for that. UAPA is an act that deals with such illegal and non-profound activities against any individual or a group of individuals. We’ll have a broader look at this below.
What is UAPA Act?
UAPA Act or Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was implemented and enacted by the parliament of Indian constitution to deal with unlawful activities associations granting powers to deal with such acts which target to wither India’s sovereignty and integrity. This is what the basic principle of UAPA, India is. And what it runs on.
Mechanism of UAPA Act, as of 2019
The UAPA act was lastly altered and signified in LOK SABHA by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Amit Shah in Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019. The amended act enables to deal with terrorist activities with addition to several other illegal activities.
- Those who engage in Terrorism: The UAPA, 2019 states that the central government of India has the right to designate against a particular individual or an organization if; (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) prepares for terrorism, (iii) promotes terrorism, or (iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism.
- Seizure of Property by NIA: The Bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), to seize a property connected with terrorism the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.
- Investigation by NIA: The Act stated that if the investigation is initiated by NIA then the officers to the ranks of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above can deal with the case. İt was amended to state that the cases can be looked upon by ranks of inspectors and above.
- Insertion to Schedule of Treaties: The Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act. The Schedule lists nine treaties, including the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997), and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979). The Bill adds another treaty to the list. This is the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005).
Unlawful Arrests Made Under UAPA Act, 2019
The UAPA Act has no doubt helped make an intense impact on the prevention of illegal and unlawful activities since the implementation and has contributed to betterment of the nation’s principles. But, to say that the act has its own demerits to be manipulative and charge innocents with trials and arrests sometimes is not wrong. For the last six years here are a few individuals who have been unlawfully arrested under UAPA act.
Stan Swamy, Human Rights Activists.
Stan Swamy was accused under UAPA act of terror alleged charges in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence and alleged links with the communist party of India (MAOIST) by NIA. Since he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and other health related conditions, he filed a plea to receive bail on medical grounds of his condition. He was arbitrarily denied the access to bail and it was rejected multiple times before he was incarcerated and died July 5, 2021.
Siddique Kappan, PFI Activist.
Siddique Kappan is also a victim of unlawful arrests made under the stringent UAPA act. He was allegedly accused of having an intent of ‘breaching people’ of Hathras and along with his three companions was arrested while on his way to Hathras to cover the details of gangrape of a dalit woman. They were arrested by the UP Special Task Force and filed a charge sheet against. Siddique Kappan was the Secretary of the Delhi unit of Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) at the time of his arrest. In February, Kappan was allowed a bail of 5 day conditional bail to meet his deficient mother.
Pendency of UAPA Cases
Every successive year, from 2014-2020 stats, it is evident that the pendency of cases that were charged allegedly or non allegedly under UAPA act, have experienced a significant rise by 14.4% each year where the average number of registered cases mount for 985 cases per year.
Among 40% cases that are taken under investigation, only 4.8% of them are convicted and handled and resolved.
National Crime Records Bureau suggests that since 2010 to 2013 have no record of mention of the UAPA act. It took pace from 2014 speeding up to 2020.
This has not been the last or first time that there were unlawful and ethical arrests were made under UAPA act. The complexity of the issue has enormous details to be taken into consideration and worked upon. The unlawful arrests only tend to devastate the lives of the allegedly accused under the act and it’s family and is no less than a death warrant for the accused.
There has to be certain understanding for the limiting the unlawful and wrongful arrests and charge sheets under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. And this article significantly highlights this delicate issue.