THE DRACONIAN REALITY OF UAPA: EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES PREVENTION ACT ON HUMAN RIGHTS by Yusuf Kathat
Author: Yusuf Kathat, LLM (Corporate and Commercial Law), Manipal University, Jaipur
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, introduced in 1908, has its roots in colonial times, and this is where the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, of 1967, comes from. The newly modified act was intended to broadly and explicitly imprison freedom fighters.
Firstly, introducing the “Unlawful Association.” Even after independence, the Nehru government preferred to exploit the act’s provisions to silence critics of the government or the proposed land reforms.
Not only the federal government, but also the states developed their own detention laws, such as the Preventive Detention Act of 1950, and numerous Supreme Court decisions, such as AK Gopalan v. State of Madras and Romesh Thapar v. State of Madras, poured into uphold the sanctity of the fundamental rights. The Supreme Court finally declared the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1908 to be unconstitutional in Ram Nandan v. The State. Article 19 of the Constitution underwent a number of revisions between 1951 and 1963 in order to delegate the Government’s control over the fundamental rights provided to the people.
The creation of the Ninth Schedule, which the administration initially sought to use on all legislation to keep it out of the reach of the Judicial Review, was made possible by the first amendment.
However, the 16th Amendment served as a springboard for the 1967 passage of UAPA, which put an end to the government’s need to deal with critics during the Indo-China War of 1962.
The government introduced the “Sovereignty and Integrity” of the State’s Reasonable Restrictions in an effort to deter people or organizations from calling for independence or seceding from the Union.