What is Unlawful Activities Prevention Act?

Published by: Blinzo Desk

Here is the current information required for YPSC –Prelims and General Studies Paper-2, KPSC –Prelims and General Studies Paper-2 and other competitive exams.

The central government had issued an order under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) banning the Popular Front of India organization for five years.

The Central Government constituted a Tribunal/Tribunal to check whether there were proper reasons and proper evidence behind the banning of this organisation, headed by Justice Dinesh Kumar Sharma of the High Court of Delhi. Delhi High Court Chief Justice SC Sharma appointed Dinesh to this tribunal.

What is a tribunal? 

* When any political organization is banned under the YAPA Act, the government will set up a tribunal or tribunal to examine whether the process has been done for proper reasons. This is a temporary structure.

* The activities of this tribunal are conducted under the leadership of a High Court judge. In addition, the central government also appoints more assistants if required.

* According to Section 4 of this YAPA Act, after declaring any organization illegal, within 30 days, a tribunal shall be constituted to examine whether there is sufficient evidence and reasons for such ban. Also, the validity of the ban on the organization will be decided according to the judgment given by that tribunal.

Function of the Tribunal:  The Tribunal has the same powers as the Civil Courts under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

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What are the methods of confirmation of prohibition?

* Before banning an organization, the tribunal issues a notice to the organization asking why your organization should not be declared illegal. Directs reply to notice within 30 days.

* The Tribunal will consider the reply/reasons given by the organization or its office bearers to the notice, and then conduct the hearing.

* If further information is required in addition to these reasons, the Central Government or any officer or member of the association will be summoned and enquired. The tribunal then decides whether there are sufficient grounds to declare the organization illegal or not. It then announces that decision within six months.

* As per Section 6 of UAPA, the Central Government can cancel the notification on its own volition or on the application of any concerned person. The Government can take this decision without considering the confirmation of the Judicial Council.

* But if the Tribunal confirms that the organization is illegal, the decision of the Center will remain in force for a period of five years from the date of notification.

Amendment to UAPA 

* The ‘Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act – 2019’ was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in 2019. This Act has been enacted by amending the provisions contained in the ‘Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act-1967’.

* The main objective of this act is to provide special mechanisms to control terrorist activities in the country.

* UAPA is a law to prevent illegal activities that harm the integrity and sovereignty of the country.

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The UAPA Amendment Act is as follows;

* According to this earlier Act, if any organization participated in acts of terrorism, promoted it or engaged in self-terrorism, such organization could be declared a terrorist organization by the central government. The amended Act also empowers the Central Government to declare ‘persons’ as ‘terrorists’ on the aforesaid basis.

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Seizure of property by NIA:

* As per the earlier Act, it was mandatory for the investigating officer concerned to obtain the prior permission of the Director General of Police to seize the assets of a person linked to a terrorist organisation. The amendment act now states that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials will have to seek the approval of the Director General of the NIA to seize the assets of those linked to terrorist organisations.

* Earlier there was a rule that no officer below the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police could conduct investigations in terrorism-related cases.

* But now the amendment empowers NIA officers of the rank of Inspector or above to investigate cases under the Act.

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