New Delhi, August 3 (NDTV): The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act Amendent Bill or UAPA bill also called anti-terror bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian parliament on Friday.
This Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) (UAPA) Act, 1967. The UAPA Amendment Bill allows the government to tag individuals as terrorists if they commit or participate in the acts of terrorism, prepare for acts of terror, promote terrorism or are otherwise involved in terrorism.
Earlier, the government was only empowered to designate organizations, and not individuals, as terrorists.
The new provisions also empower the Director-General, National Investigation Agency (NIA) to grant approval of seizure or attachment of property when the case is investigated by the agency.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Activities (UAPA) Amendment Bill gives authority to the NIA officers, of the rank of Inspector or above to investigate cases.
The Lok Sabha has already passed the amendments to the UAPA Bill on July 24. In the Rajya Sabha, 147 members voted for the legislation while 42 members dissented it.
The Congress and several other opposition parties opposed the provision of designating an individual as a terrorist and urged the government to refer the Bill to the Select Committee for further scrutiny.
Replying Home Minister Amit Shah said a four-level scrutiny has been provided in the amendment and no human rights will be violated.
Mr Shah said declaring individuals as terrorists is required as they float different organizations once an institution is banned.
Global terrorists Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed will be the first two to be banned as individuals in India after the UAPA amendments are notified by the government. While Hafiz Saeed was the brain behind the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Masood Azhar was responsible for the recent Pulwama attack as well as the 2001 attack on parliament.
(The picture above shows Home Minister Amit Shah with Prime Minister Narendra Modi)