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Supreme Court issues a notice to Centre on the anti-terror UAPA law

New Delhi | The Supreme Court on Friday has issued a notice to the Centre to respond to a plea regarding the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 (UAPA).

The petition seeks to declare the amended UAPA law unconstitutional.

CJI Ranjan Gogoi has said the court will examine the matter.

The petitions said the UAPA Amendment Act of 2019, passed by the Parliament, conferred the Centre with “discretionary, unfettered and unbound powers” to categorise a person as a terrorist.

The PIL against UAPA has been filed by Sajal Awasthi who has said that the Act curtails a citizen’s right to dissent. It provides no opportunity to a person declared a ‘terrorist’ to justify his case before the arrest.

“The new or amended Section 35 of the UAPA Act, 1967 empowers the Central government to categorise any individual as a terrorist and add the name of such a person in Schedule 4 of the Act. Conferring of such a discretionary, unfettered and unbound powers upon the Central government is antithesis to Article 14 of the Constitution of India,” Sajal Awasthi’s petition stated.

It added that the UAPA, 2019 “does not afford an opportunity to an individual, being categorised as a terrorist, to present his/her case and let such individuals live on the whim and caprice of the society thereinafter.”

On Wednesday, the Centre declared Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Mumbai terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim as individual terrorists under the new anti-terror law.

Also Read: Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim declared individual terrorists under new UAPA

Last month, the Parliament had passed amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 1967.

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