Government can now declare an individual a terrorist, Rajya Sabha passes UAPA Bill
New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha, on Friday, passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 with 147 votes in favour and 42 against it while the opposition called it to be sent to a selection committee.
During a discussion on the bill, home minister Amit Shah said that terrorism had no religion and every member of the House should show their support to the Bill to bring stringent laws against it. He also assured that no human rights will be violated and said that a four-level-scrutiny has been provided in the amendment.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram argued that the government is making amendments to the already amended act to empower the National Investigation Agency. He added, “If the central government believes an individual is involved in terrorism, he will be named. There is no FIR, no chargesheet, no charges framed, no trial in a court, no conviction. What is the basis of naming individuals? Only your belief.”
Responding to Chidambaram, Shah said, “Out of 278 terror cases registered by NIA, charge sheet filed in 204 cases. 48 out of 54 cases have been convicted so far.”
Opposition parties and civil liberties lawyers have also criticised the Bill, arguing it could be used to target dissent against the government, and infringe on citizens’ civil rights.
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