- It puts zero tolerance to ‘terrorist investigation’ by declaring an individual as terrorist.
- It focuses on expertise rather than on rank to investigate terrorist cases, as it also provided a qualified ‘inspector’ of NIA to conduct cases.
- The act empowers the inspector to do investigation.
- It empowers NIA Director General (DG) of police to seize the property of individual without obtaining the permission of state DG.
Enrich Your Learning:
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019:
Why in news?
The Ministry of Home Affairs designated nine individuals as terrorists linked to separatist Khalistani groups that seek to establish a separate country for the Sikhs under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
About UAPA Act 2019:
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act 2019 provides special procedures to deal with terrorist activities, among other things.
Who may commit terrorism?
- The act empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds.
- Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it:
- commits or participates in acts of terrorism,
- prepares for terrorism,
- promotes terrorism, or
- is otherwise involved in terrorism.
Approval for seizure of property by NIA:
- Under the Act, an investigating officer is required to obtain the prior approval of the Director General of Police (DGP) to seize properties that may be connected with terrorism.
- If the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the approval of the Director General of NIA would be required for seizure of such property.
Investigation by NIA:
- Under the Act, investigation of cases may be conducted by officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police or above.
- It empowers the officers of the NIA, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases.
- However, investigation of cases can be conducted by state DSPs as well.
Insertion to schedule of treaties:
- The Act defines terrorist acts to include acts committed within the scope of any of the treaties listed in a schedule to the Act.
- The Schedule lists nine treaties, including the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (1997) and the Convention against Taking of Hostages (1979), the treaty of International Convention for Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (2005) to the list.
- The provision for designating individual as terrorist can be misused.
- There are very less chances of it being misused as the central government does not declare any individual without any material on record.
- The government might make a committee soon that will go through these materials to decide on individual as terrorist or not.