About the Act
- The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament in 2019. It amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
- The act empowers the central government to designate an individual a “terrorist” if they are found committing, preparing for, promoting, or involved in an act of terror. Earlier, the Central Government was having powers only to designate organisations as terrorist organisations.
- The UAPA law of 1967 requires an investigating officer to take prior permission of the Director General of Police of a state for conducting raids, and seizing properties that are suspected to be linked to terrorist activities.
- The amendment act of 2019 however, removes this requirement if the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The investigating officer, under the 2019 act, only requires sanction from the Director General of NIA.
- Central agencies such as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are required to obtain prior permission from the state government since law and order is a state subject under the Constitution.
- The UAPA law of 1967 specifies that only officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent or Assistant Commissioner of Police of the NIA shall have the power to investigate offences under the UAPA law. The amendment act seeks to allow NIA officers of Inspector rank to carry out investigations.
Why in News?
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has declared the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its front organisations as an “unlawful association” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
What is the Popular Front of India and why has it been controversial?
- State Governments of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have recommended a ban on PFI.
- MHA said the PFI cadres linked to ISIS have been killed in these conflict theatres and some have been arrested by State Police and Central Agencies.