The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA) is a special act that deal with terrorism activities of any kind. It is an “Act to provide for the more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations [and for dealing with terrorist activities,] and for matters connected therewith.”
Under the UAPA, an organization could be designated as a terrorist organization or can be declared as unlawful by the Central Government. Section 15 of the UAPA gives the meaning of a “Terror Act” as :
Section 15 of the UAPA
[(1)] Whoever does any act with intent to threaten or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security 5 [economic security,] or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or in any foreign country,—
(a) by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable substances or firearms or other lethal weapons or poisonous or noxious gases or other chemicals or by any other substances (whether biological radioactive, nuclear or otherwise) of a hazardous nature or by any other means of whatever nature to cause or likely to cause—
(i) death of, or injuries to, any person or persons; or
(ii) loss of, or damage to, or destruction of, property; or
(iii) disruption of any supplies or services essential to the life of the community in India or in
any foreign country; or
(iiia) damage to, the monetary stability of India by way of production or smuggling or circulation of high quality counterfeit Indian paper currency, coin or of any other material; or]
(iv) damage or destruction of any property in India or in a foreign country used or intended to be used for the defence of India or in connection with any other purposes of the Government of India, any State Government or any of their agencies; or
(b) overawes by means of criminal force or the show of criminal force or attempts to do so or causes death of any public functionary or attempts to cause death of any
PUNISHMENT FOR TERROR ACTIVITIES
Section 16 of the UAPA states the punishment to be given for a person who commits any Terror Act or raises funding for any such terror activity; as mentioned in the following :
(1) Whoever commits a terrorist act shall,—Section 16 of the UAPA
(a) if such act has resulted in the death of any person, be punishable with death or imprisonment
for life, and shall also be liable to fine;
(b) in any other case, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than
five years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
Section 17 states that any person who tries to support any terror activity with funds (raising, collecting, distributing or participating in any other activity related to funding terror activities) shall be punishment for a term not less than 5 years and can be extended to life imprisonment. Fine can also be levied upon the person.
UAPA was applied to various activities such as the Delhi Riots of 2020 wherein Umar Khalid, Sharjeel Imam and many others related to the riots were booked under UAPA. As it is rightfully said, the rant of Bail under UAPA is very difficult, we have seen that the main accused of the North-East Delhi riots are still struggling to get a bail.
Sharjeel Imam had made anti-national sloganeering and hate speeches as an Anti-CAA protestant which have led to the riots that took place in the Jamia Millia Islami University.
Umar Khalid was also arrested after an FIR was filed against him that booked him for making proactive speeches during the visit of Former American President Donald Trump’s visit to India. He made speeches which instigated and facilitated the North – East Delhi riots.
Another such case of the UAPA is the Pantheerankavu Case where Allan, Thwaha and Usman were booked under UAPA for Urban activities of the CPI (Maoist). The three accused were involved in furtherance activities that were done by the CPI (Maoist)
The cases filed under UAPA are looked into by the Special Police and are decided by the Special Court.