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Analysis of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967

The Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act,1963 was enacted to obtrude reasonable restrictions in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India. Reasonable restrictions on Section 19(1),19(2), 19(3) of Article 19 of the Indian Constitution. In order to tool these provisions provided under the 1963 Act, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill was introduced in Parliament.

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill was introduced in houses. The Bill was passed unanimously by both the (Rajya and Lok Sabha ) houses with the consent of the President and the Act came into Power. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention ) Act,1967 came into power on 30th Dec. 1967.

The purpose of making this act was for more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations (Terrorist Activities ). The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967 (UAPA) has been through a series of amendments:
  1. First Amendment in UAPA act,1969 w.e.f. 13-8-1969
  2. Second Amendment in UAPA Act ,2004 w.e.f. 21-9-2004,
  3. Third Amendment in UAPA Act, 2008 w.e.f. 31-12-2008,
  4. Fourth Amendment in UAPA Act,2012 w.e.f. 1-2-2013.
In the last few years the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967 has been via critical analysis and changes made with the latest amendment which has been in Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2019 provides an allowance to the Govt. to categorise individuals who are part of terrorism as terrorists.

In accordance with the preceding act Govt. could only categorise an organisation as a terrorist. According to NCRB records, there weren't many cases filed under UAPA prior to 2014 but tremendously afterwards there is an 80% increase in the no. of cases filed under UAPA cases from 2014 onwards.

Year Total Offences Registered
2014 976
2015 897
2016 922
2017 901
2018 1182

Reasons For Making Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

It was the period of early 1960, in the year 1962 when Indo China wartime happened and the point of time there was extreme pressure on Central Govt. internally as well as externally internally it was the time of elections and political instability in Tamil Nadu and the demand of Political Party; Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK) founded by C.N. Annadurai.

He who renamed the state Madras Tamil Nadu, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. In the year of 1962, C.N. Annadurai presented a proposal for a separate Tamil country. But due to already event of Indo- China and aggression with China, he let it go off that idea.

It was the time period when there was ongoing aggression with China as well as with Pakistan around 1971 later an Emergency in 1975.At that point of time to deal with the situation Central govt. decided for external aggression implementation of Emergency which will give whole Powers of State in the hands of Govt. and for internal aggression to have Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967 to restrict the rights of citizen and so that anything which comes up to be against Govt. could be checked and punished.

Definition Of UAPA

UAPA i.e. Unlawful {Activities}Prevention Act, known as most Draconian Law of Indian Law. It is an Anti-terrorism law which was made to dealt with revolutionary cases i.e. during the revolt of Bhima Koregaon Movement , Citizenship Amendment Act , Hathras Rape and murder. UAPA came into power to in 1967 whereas there is recent amendment made in 2019 of UAPA i.e. Unlawful {Activities}Prevention Act.

It was introduced with an objective to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. Due to the latest advancement under UAPA an individual could be arrested without due process of law.

"Our System is Facile, Shadow and more you know more disgusting you feel". It's true when the brutal concept of UAPA comes into the light where innocents like Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, and Asif Iqbal are jailed for conspiracy of Delhi Riots and convicted guilty but it's no crime as govt. has confused fundamental Law with Terrorist Activity i.e. right to protest with a terrorist activity which the Delhi H.C. strongly criticised. Even International rights groups such as Amnesty International , Human Rights Watch and Frontline Defenders criticised their arrests.

Questions Upheld:
  • How could we keep the Anti-Terrorist law that is needed to protect national security but should not compromise with fundamental rights and not suppress the voices of citizens because every govt. wanted to suppress the voices of citizens?
  • Anti -Terrorism Laws have a history of being misused {TADA, PODA} and now UAPA. There is a rift {will always} i.e. need for strong Anti-terrorism Laws and safeguarding infringement of fundamental rights. Is there a possible way to solve this drift?
  • How to prove the accountability of a Police Officer who fails to prove the charges under the UAPA {under which person is charged} Act?

Upheld Way
Way Back state has to compensate the individual but now it's time to think beyond that i.e. psychologically, mentally etc. because due to the state the (person) has to face mental agony may be due to a mistake in the investigation.

Rift between fundamental laws and anti-terrorism law. It is good to say that we need to balance but what if this balance gets lost, we have seen UAPA cases but the option is either you can go to court against the state but that isn't the solution. We have a written constitution well drafted by our Constitutionalists. But currently, it's in the hands of requisites who are interpreting it in a way which makes a ray of hope for the coming up hand solutions.

So, about Police Accountability i.e. Police Fault in Investigation which leads to spending precious years of the individual in prison and humiliation as well as harassment, assault to peace, happiness and livelihood. So, establishing accountable police accountability commission .But the problem arises when they didn't set it up at all .So, authority needed to take up things in its hand and do for it .

Only judiciary should be held accountable as should not entertain the cases but only those which are based upon proper evidence and should not entertain cases in which evidence is obtained by illegal sources and system because over here Principal-Agents works and police works as agent.

Fundamentals Rights Violation

Article 21which is a negative concept safeguards that no person shall be deprived of its life or personal liberty. Any Law which makes dire attribution into the Fundamental rights Part III encapsulated within the Constitution Of India must be contemplated and vivisect via Parliamentary Debate.

Also another way ahead is of surety that these anti- terror laws shouldn't be used as a tool against minorities , invite Minorities representatives and set up a Minorities Commission so that only meaningful amendments could be set up and those amendments which are single-mindedly drafted to exploit the particular minorities could be opposed.

UAPA should not be used as a tool by authority for use it precisely against the journalists and activists who are the emblem of Democracy. Sadly, UAPA has been misused to jail maverick and subversive without clear reason by collaborating it with terrorists and terror associations.

These are those cases in which individuals are charged under the stringent UAPA Act:
  • Devangana Kalita vs State Of Nct Delhi on 15 June, 2021
  • Asif Iqbal Tanha vs State Of Nct Of Delhi on 15 June, 2021
  • Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali vs National Investigating Agency on 13 September, 2018
  • Usman Bhai v. Daud Ibrahim Case

Hence, to legalize the implementation of these stipulations, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act , 1967 (UAPA) was formulated and with the effect in the year 1967. There was a set of amendments gone through passing years. Unlawful Activities Prevention Act ,1967 (UAPA) which is the foundation or the Keystone of India's Legislative Policy against Terrorism.


Written By: Gungun Jain
, Student Of Symbiosis Law School, Pune

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