Criminal justice system

• TADA and UAPA – anti-terror special laws.
 2015-2019- 7,840 persons were arrested under UAPA but only 155 were convicted.
 TADA-67,000 people were detained but just 725 were convicted.

• Kartar Singh case – prosecution had unjustifiably invoked provisions of TADA ‘with an oblique motive of depriving the accused persons from getting bail’.

 ‘Nothing but the sheer misuse and abuse of the Act by the police’.

No consensus

• Grossly misused – no consensus on definition of
the term ‘terrorism’.

• Neither TADA/UAPA defines -‘terror’ and ‘terrorism’.

 Section 15 (UAPA) – Any act with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity,
integrity, security, or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people.
 UAPA – acts committed by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or
inflammable substances or firearms or other lethal weapons or poisonous or
noxious gases … or by any other means of whatever nature to cause or likely to
cause death or injuries…

Judicial Cases .

• Yaqoob Abdul Razzak Memon case – Terrorist acts range from threats to actual
assassinations, kidnappings, airline hijacking, car bombs, explosions, mailing of dangerous materials, use of chemical, biological, nuclear
weapons etc.

• Hitendra Vishnu Thakur case – ‘use of violence when its most important result is
not merely the physical and mental damage of the victim but the prolonged psychological effect it produces … on the society as a whole’.

 Overawe the government or disturb the harmony of society or ‘terrorise’ people…’.

 Deliberate and systematic use of coercive intimidation’.

• Kartar Singh case – Mere disturbance of public
order is not a terrorist act.

• Ram Manohar Lohia case -Distinction between ‘law and order’, ‘public order’ and ‘security of state’.

 Law and order represent the largest circle within which is the next circle representing ‘public order’ and the smallest circle
represents the ‘security of state’.

 Act may affect ‘law and order’ but not ‘public order’.  Act may adversely affect ‘public order’ but not the ‘security of state.’

 Police have failed to understand these distinctions.

Way Forward

• Police will be far more cautious in charging people under special laws like
UAPA and TADA.

• No anti-terror law can really end the problem of terrorism.

• Must remove injustices in our society to combat terrorism.

• Creation of a truly just, egalitarian and non-oppressive society – far more effective in combating terrorism.

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