New Delhi, Sep 6: Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Union of India after hearing two petitions which had challenged the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Act, 2019, that gave government the powers to designate an individual as terrorist, seize his properties saying it could be grossly misused.
The two pleas before the Supreme court, said the UAPA amendment was an affront to free speech, dignity and dissent. A bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, issued notice to the central government and sought a detailed response from it on the two petitions.
"Issue notice to the Centre on these two petitions and let the government file a detailed response on these two petitions," the bench said. Out of the two petitions, one private individual, Sajal Awasthi, has moved the Supreme Court and filed a PIL challenging the recently passed UAPA Act, 2019, and sought a direction from it to declare it as unconstitutional.
He had challenged the UAPA Act, 2019 and claimed in his petition that it was ultra vires, illegal, and unconstitutional. The petition further said that the UAPA Act was violative of the fundamental rights as enshrined under Article 14 (Right to Equality), 19 (Right to Free Speech and Expression) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution of India.
The petition stated that the recent amendment allows notification of “individuals as terrorists” while under UAPA, 1967, only organisations could be so notified. (UNI)