Recently the Rajya Sabha on 2-August passes the Unlawful Activites (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill 2019. This bill will replace the UAPA bill 1967. Today, President Ram Nath Kovind has given assent to this legislation.
Added features of UAPA bill 2019
Under this act, there is a provision that empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists. This provision has already adopted by countries like the United States, China, Israel, etc.
- The bill adds that if the investigation is conducted by an officer of NIA, the approval of the Director-General of NIA would be required for seizure of property. According to UAPA Act 1967, the approval of the Director-General of Police(DGP) was required.
- The bill empowers the officers of NIA having a rank of Inspector or above to investigate the cases. According to UAPA Act 1967, the investigation can be done by officers of Rank of Deputy Superindent or Assistant Commissioner of police or above.
- It includes one more treaty under which a group is designated as terrorists. This is the International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nucelar Terrorism(2005).
Drawbacks of this bill
- This bill causes the Centralisation of power by eliminating the permission of DGP for the seizure of the accused's property.
- The opposition claims that this bill is very aggressive.
- The opposition compares this bill with the Prevention of Terrorism Act(POTA) 2002 and says that this will not works efficiently.
POTA Act 2002
- This bill was also introduced to control terrorism. Under this act, the power was centralized to the investigation agencies.
- Under the POTA act total of 1,031 people were arrested out of which only 13 were convicted.
- In 2004, when the UPA government came, this bill was repeal.
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