The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre following a plea against the amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, that allowed the government to declare an individual as a terrorist, NDTV reported. The top court said it will examine the Constitutional validity of the amended law.
Earlier, only organisations could be categorised as terrorist groups. Activist Sajal Awasthi, who filed the petition, said that the law is against fundamental rights and violates the rights of an individual.
The plea added that the amended law provides no opportunity to the person deemed a terrorist to defend himself before his arrest. Therefore, the law violates the basic tenets of the Constitution, the petitioner argued.
On August 2, the Rajya Sabha passed the amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. On Thursday, the Centre designated Jaish-e-Mohammad Chief Masood Azhar and Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed as terrorists. It also declared Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and underworld don Dawood Ibrahim terrorists under the new law.
The new amendments permit the Centre to impose a travel ban on individuals declared terrorists, and seize their properties. The accused can approach the Union home secretary, who has to decide the matter within 45 days. They can also approach a review committee comprising a sitting or retired judge and at least two retired government secretaries.
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