Parliament passes the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 has been passed by Parliament. The Bill will amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 while enacting the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019.

Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah said that:

Terrorist acts are committed not by organizations but by individuals. Declaring an organization as a terrorist organization will not stop the individuals behind it. Not designating individuals as terrorists, would give them an opportunity to circumvent the law and they would simply gather under a different name and keep up their terror activities.

The Minister said that only those individuals who participate in terrorist activities, aid those indulging in such activities, propagate the ideology of terrorism and members of known terrorist organizations will be declared as terrorists after this amendment is passed. He added that terrorism is a global problem and the UN along with several other countries, have provisions in their laws to designate individuals as terrorists.

The Amendment gives powers to DG, NIA to attach properties acquired from proceeds of terrorism. On this issue, Shri Shah said that this law does not take away powers of the state police. When NIA takes up a case having international and inter-state ramifications, all the facts pertinent to the case are with the NIA, and not with the state police. Currently, the law requires that NIA take prior permission from the respective state DGP to attach the proceeds of terrorism. This delays the process as often such properties are in different states, the Minister added.

Major Highlights:

  • the government can notify organizations as terrorist organizations by including them in the First Schedule.
  • empowers the officers of the National Investigation Agency, of the rank of Inspector or above, to investigate cases
  • Government can designate “individuals” as terrorists in accordance with this bill

Following are amendments passed by the Parliament:

Sections Amended

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019

Section 2(1)(d)

“court” means a criminal court having jurisdiction, under the Code, to try offences under this Act [and includes a Special Court constituted under Section 11 or under “Section 21” of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008

“court” means a criminal court having jurisdiction, under the Code, to try offences under this Act [and includes a Special Court constituted under Section 11 or under “Section 22” of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008

Section 25 (1)

If an officer investigating an offence committed under Chapter IV or Chapter VI, has reason to believe that any property in relation to which an investigation is being conducted, represents proceeds of terrorism, he shall, with the prior approval in writing of the Director-General of the Police of the State “in which such property is situated, make an order” seizing such property and where it is not practicable to seize such property, make an order of attachment directing that such property shall not be transferred or otherwise dealt with except with the prior permission of the officer making such order, or of the Designated Authority before whom the property seized or attached is produced and a copy of such order shall be served on the person concerned.

If an officer investigating an offence committed under Chapter IV or Chapter VI, has reason to believe that any property in relation to which an investigation is being conducted, represents proceeds of terrorism, he shall, with the prior approval in writing of the Director-General of the Police of the “in which such property is situated, or where the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency, with the prior approval of the Director-General of National Investigation Agency, make an order” seizing such property and where it is not practicable to seize such property, make an order of attachment directing that such property shall not be transferred or otherwise dealt with except with the prior permission of the officer making such order, or of the Designated Authority before whom the property seized or attached is produced and a copy of such order shall be served on the person concerned.

Chapter VI [Heading Substituted]

TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS

TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS

Section 35 (1) (a), (b), (c) & (d)

Section 36 [Marginal Heading] Denotification of a terrorist organisation

Denotification terrorist organisation or individual

Section 38 (1)(b)

that he has not taken part in the activities of the organisation at any time during its inclusion in the “Schedule” as a terrorist organisation

that he has not taken part in the activities of the organisation at any time during its inclusion in the “First Schedule” as a terrorist organisation

Section 43 [Addition of new clause]

“(ba) in the case of National Investigation Agency, below the rank of Inspector;”

Section 43 (c)

in any case not relatable to clause (a) or clause (b), below the rank of a Deputy Superintendent of Police or a police officer of equivalent rank,

in clause (c), after the words, brackets and letter “or clause (b)”, the words, brackets and letters “or clause (ba)” shall be inserted

Section 45 (1) (ii)

under Chapters IV and VI without the previous sanction of the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government, and “where” such offence is committed against the Government of a foreign country without the previous sanction of the Central Government.

under Chapters IV and VI without the previous sanction of the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government, and “if” such offence is committed against the Government of a foreign country without the previous sanction of the Central Government.

First Schedule
Second Schedule
Addition of Fourth Schedule

 

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