UAPA Act: Know the history of UAPA Act and the amendments made to UAPA Act in 2019

23 Feb, 2021 |

UAPA  Act:

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967 is a law constituted in India with an aim to prevent unlawful activities associations in India. The main objective of the UAPA Act is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. 


To act was drafted in the presence of the National Integration Council (NIC), which further appointed a Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation to analyse the aspect of putting reasonable restrictions in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India. However, NIC while drafting the act kept their agenda limited to communalism, casteism and regionalism, but not terrorism. And with the increasing terrorism in the country, the BJP led NDA government, in 2019 made certain amendments to certain provisions of The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 to curb terrorism and Naxalism in the country. 


The UAPA  Act, 1967 is applicable to the entire country and every citizen of India and abroad. Moreover, the UAPA act is also applicable to offenders just the same, even if the offence is committed on any foreign land. So, after this, let’s get to know what is an unlawful activity defined under the Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967, unlawful activity “refers to any action taken by an individual or association (whether by committing an act or by words, either spoken or written or by signs to questions, disclaims, disrupts, or is intended to disrupt the territorial integrity and sovereignty of India. “


The UAPA act further prohibits cession or secession of any part of the Indian territory from the Union, or which provoke any individual or group of individuals to bring about such cession or secession. 


Probe on Fundamental Rights: 

The Parliament has been empowered by the National Integration Council and the Constitution (16th Amendment) Act 1963, to impose (by law) some reasonable restrictions in the interests of sovereignty and integrity on the:

  • Freedom of Speech and Expression
  • Right to Form Associations and Unions
  • Right to Assemble peaceably and without arms.


Amendments made to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967:

The Union Cabinet in 2019 amended both the NIA Act of 2008 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act of 1967. Schedule 4 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act will permit the NIA to tag an individual suspect to have terror links as a terrorist under the new amendment. Previously, only organisations could be designated as terrorist organisations, but since the new amendment passes in 2019 to the UAPA act, any individual can also be declared a terror suspect. 


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