Rajya Sabha passes bill that gives Govt power to declare individuals as terrorist

JK Bank

The Rajya Sabha Friday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill that enables the government to designate individuals as terrorists.

The bill was passed even as the Opposition said it would infringe on the liberty of a person.

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Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader P Chidambaram said: “If you see reasons for amendment, it says ‘to empower NIA’. In passing you say ’empowers Centre to add or remove an individual’s name as a terrorist’, this mischief is why we are opposing this amendment, we are not opposing Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

He added that it would be better for the government to hear them out in Parliament instead of “forcing us to go to a building a kilometre away” — referring to the Supreme Court. Chidambaram also said courts would strike down the amendment as it was against the rights of a person and was based on just the government’s “belief” that he/she was a terrorist. The Congress veteran said it was wrong to compare a terrorist like Hafiz Saeed with activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.