- As per amendments, centre can impose travel ban on such individuals
- The legislation is still awaiting the Rajya Sabha's approval
- The proposed law will be in conformity with United Nations conventions
Global terrorists Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed will be the first two to be banned as individuals in India after the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) amendments are notified by the government.
"Terrorism is a global fight, and it will help India's case at the international level if they are designated as terrorists here," a senior officer from the Ministry of Home Affairs told NDTV.
As per the new UAPA amendments passed by the Lok Sabha, the government can impose a travel ban on such individuals and seize their properties as per law. The legislation is still awaiting the Rajya Sabha's approval.
While Hafiz Saeed was the brains behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Masood Azhar was responsible for the recent Pulwama attack as well as the 2001 attack on parliament.
The proposed law will be in conformity with United Nations conventions as well as international standards. "The government will then share data on them with other countries too," the official said.
The ministry, however, stated that action will be taken against individuals under the law only with the Union Home Ministry's approval. "Redressal forums will be made available if the individual feels that he/she has been wronged," another senior official in the ministry 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.
Once the person is designated as a terrorist, the government can take steps such as seizing his assets or imposing a travel ban on him. Further details of the action to be taken under the proposed law will be decided when the rules are framed following the passage of the bill in parliament, the official said.
The official said that although 42 groups were declared unlawful in the last 15 years, only one among them - the Deendar Anjuman - pleaded before the government against the decision. When the decision was reconfirmed, the group did not challenge it in a court of law.
"The checks and balances we have for organisations are robust, and similar ones will be put in place for individuals too," the official said.
On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha approved an amendment to the anti-terror law for authorising the government to designate individuals as terrorists. Home Minister Amit Shah said such a provision was of "prime importance" to nip terrorism in the bud.
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