New Delhi: The Parliament on Friday approved an amendment to the anti-terror law to give powers to the central government to designate an individual as terrorist and seize his properties.
While Lok Sabha had passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019 that seeks to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 on July 24, Rajya Sabha approved it by voice vote on Friday after rejecting an opposition-sponsored motion to send it to select committee.
Rajya Sabha rejected the opposition-sponsored motion to send the amendment to select committee with 104 votes against it as compared to 85 in favour. The House passed the amendment to the law with 147 votes in favour and 42 against it.
Replying to a debate on the amendment, Home Minister Amit Shah said a four-level scrutiny has been provided in the amendment and no human rights will be violated. He said declaring individuals as terrorists are required as they float different organisations once an institution is banned.
Individuals can be declared terrorists if they commit or participate in acts of terrorism, prepare or promote terror, he said. The amendment will expedite prosecution in terror cases, he said. Terrorism has no religion, terrorists are against humanity, he said seeking support of all parties to support stringent laws against terrorism.
Responding to opposition concerns of the law being misused, he said no one's human rights will be violated as a four-stage scrutiny with provision for appeal has been prescribed when individuals are declared terrorists.
Elaborating on the track record of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), he said out of 278 terror cases registered by the agency, charge sheet has been filed in 204 cases. Of the 54 cases where judgements have come, conviction has been there in 48. Track record of NIA in conviction in terror cases is outstanding, he said.