- Amendments to anti-terror law cleared by parliament last month
- Allows centre to designate individuals as terrorists, impose restrictions
- Top court sent notice to centre over the changes to anti-terror law
Recent changes to the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA),which enable the government to declare individuals as terrorists, will be examined by the Supreme Court. On a petition challenging the amended law, the court today said it would examine its constitutional validity and issued notice to the centre.
The petition filed by activist Sajal Awasthi says the law is against fundamental rights and violates the rights of an individual.
The petition says the law provides no opportunity to the person termed a "terrorist" to defend himself before arrest. Such an Act violates the "basic tenets" of the Constitution, said the petition.
The amendment to the UAPA Act were passed in parliament last month. The amended bill went through after the Rajya Sabha rejected an opposition-backed motion to send it to a select committee.
On Wednesday, Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and two others were declared terrorists indiviually by the government under the new anti-terror law. Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim are the two others declared terrorists The US on Wednesday backed India's move to designate the four as terrorists, saying that it expands possibilities of cooperation between Washington and New Delhi in fighting terrorism..
Under the new bill, the government can impose a travel ban on individuals who have been designated as "terrorists" and seize their properties. The law is in conformity with United Nations conventions as well as international standards, the government said.
Individuals designated as terrorists can appeal to the Union Home Secretary, who will have to dispose of the plea within 45 days. In addition to this, they can also approach a review committee comprising a sitting or retired judge and at least two retired secretaries of the government.