- Research/Scholar Paper name – “Draconian Laws Regarding Terrorism in India: A Human Rights Perspective”
- Author: Subhadeepa Sen
- Co-Author: Rahul Purkayastha
- Institution: School of Law, CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore
- Affiliation: Centre for Study of Contemporary Legal Issues
- Date of Publication: 22/04/2021
Terrorism is one of the greatest problems the world is facing today and different governments in different nations have tried bringing in a range of laws to solve this menace of terrorism. India has had a repertoire of Anti – Terrorism laws protecting the security of the country since time immemorial. Most of which finds its roots from India’s colonial past and some being formulated during the 1980s, when India faced political Insurgency in the region of Punjab infamously known as the ‘The Punjab Crisis’. Often these laws have been criticized on the grounds that these are draconian and secondly, violate the very principles based on which the nation has been created. These Anti-terrorism laws have often incited incidents of abuse by the hands of governments and parties wielding excessive power at the center. These repressive laws have led to an outright violation of human rights which are conferred by the Constitution of India. India has one such legislation known as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) which was enacted in 1967 and was amended in 1972, 1986, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2019 to tackle terrorism. This piece of legislation is however very controversial and its amendments have proven even more controversial in recent times. Various legal experts have argued that this particular legislation is violative of certain rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, most importantly, the Fundamental Rights. However, it becomes imperative to observe how terrorism has increased manifold and has taken a dangerous radical and global turn after 2001. Hence, in the account of all these circumstances, the paper looks into the efforts taken by the government to tackle the violent terrorist activities and how these laws have often been applied to the innocents which have disrupted their lives. The successive governments irrespective of their political ideologies have tried to make this law more draconian with each successive amendment instead of reforming it due to their own political motives and benefits. The paper thus, strives to identify the reforms which are needed to make this law less draconian and reduce human rights violations, at the same time not making our country more vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
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