Written byShalini Ojha ·
Pakistan-based terrorists Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, who have been waging war against India through their outfits, will get the "terrorist" tag once the new amendments of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) come into force, said reports.
The UN, US, and European Union (EU) have already declared Azhar and Saeed as "global terrorists". India might soon follow the same.
Here's all about it.
On Wednesday, the Lok Sabha passed amendments in the stringent act, popularly known as anti-terror law.
Under the proposed changes, the Centre can designate individuals as terrorists. Once the tag is given, an agency or state police can take action against the person, which may include seizing passport, properties or putting a travel embargo.
The legislation is still awaiting Rajya Sabha's approval.
Reportedly, the amendments in the law will follow the United Nations conventions and international standards.
Once the legislation becomes law, Saeed and Azhar will be the first ones to be designated terrorists, officials in the know said.
While Saeed was the mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Azhar orchestrated the Pulwama attack, which happened in February. Azhar was also responsible for the 2001 Parliament attack.
"Terrorism is a global fight, and it will help India's case at the international level if they are designated as terrorists here. The government will then share data on them with other countries too," a senior Home Ministry official told NDTV.
When Union Home Minister Amit Shah proposed changes in the law, the opposition claimed it might be used by the Centre for vengeance.
However, an official told ET, this is not the case.
After an individual is designated as "terrorist", he/she might appeal to the Union Home Secretary. The plea has to be disposed of within 45 days, the official added.
In case the person isn't satisfied with the decision of Centre, they can approach a review committee, which will be headed by a retired or sitting judge of High Court.
The committee will have at least two retired secretaries of the government of India as members, the official added.
Notably, according to UAPA's existing provisions, the review committee is appointed by the Home Ministry.
Apparently, not many organizations challenge the Centre's decision after getting the "terrorist" tag.
In the last 15 years, 42 groups were declared unlawful and out of them only one, namely the Deendar Anjuman, filed a petition asking the ministry to review its decision.
Subsequently, when the decision was reconfirmed, the organization did not challenge it in the court of law.
Officials said the new law will keep a check on terror masterminds, who start new group once the previous organization is banned.
"Our checks and balances are robust in case of organizations and similar will be put in place in case of individuals too. In countries like US, EU, China, and Israel, similar provisions into the anti-terror laws already exist," an official added.
Love India news?
Subscribe to stay updated.