Rajya Sabha approved an amendment to the anti-terror bill according to which the government of India will have powers to declare an individual as a terrorist and take his properties into possession. Despite repeated warnings from the opposition that the law can be misused, the parliament passed this law.
As soon as the bill was mentioned many DMK and Congress leaders staged a walkout after their request to discuss the bill further was dismissed.
Rajya Sabha Rejected Proposal To Send Bill To Select Committee
The newly passed Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 passed on July 24. The opposition sponsored a motion to send the bill to select committee for approval. However, Rajya Sabha approved the bill by voice vote rejecting the motion from the opposition with 104 opposing the motion and 85 favoring it.
The amendment bill was passed by the House with 147 votes in favor and 42 against it. While discussing the amendment, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the amendment is accompanied by four-level scrutiny to ensure that no human rights will be violated.
The Union Minister further added that it is important to declare individuals as terrorists because once a particular institution is banned they form different organizations. With this new amendment now the government can declare a person terrorist if he commits or participates in the act of terrorism, and prepares or promotes terror.
According to the BJP Supremo, it will also help to expedite prosecution in terror cases. He further added that terrorism has no religion as terrorists are against humanity.
Four-stage Scrutiny Will Stop Law From Being Misused
The Home Minister said that the law will not be misused as it will be implemented with four-stage scrutiny and also a provision to appeal. He also discussed the track record of National Investigation Agency (NIA) which shows that out of 278 terror cases, charge sheet has been filed only in 204 cases. Out of the 54 cases in which judgments have come, only 48 terrorists have been convicted which is quite outstanding.
However, Opposition called the new law draconian as anyone could misuse it. CPM leader Elamaram Kareem said that it was a way of the government to impose state terrorism. He said, “This will lead to large-scale harassment and injustice. The amendment would give NIA “open license to go to any state and do anything at their will and pleasure” without informing the state government.”
Kareem also accused BJP-led government of taking a soft approach towards certain extremist organizations including Sanathan Sansthan.