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1) Discuss how Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) impinges on  the personal liberty of citizens of India. (250 words)

Topic: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

1) Discuss how Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) impinges on  the personal liberty of citizens of India. (250 words)

The hindu

The hindu

Why this question

Personal liberty is an essential fundamental right and any incursion on this inalienable right is a important issue, especially as far as UPSC mains exam is concerned. The issue is related to GS- 2 syllabus under the following heading –

Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.

Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Key demand of the question.

The question wants us to bring out the salient provisions and procedures of the UAPA act and write in detail about how they affect the personal liberty of the citizens.

Directive word

Discuss- here we have to dig deep into the question and write in detail about all the vital and related aspects of the question- need and evolution of the act, its implications on personal liberty

Structure of the answer

Introduction- mention that pursuant to the acceptance of recommendations of the Committee on National Integration and Regionalisation, the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Act, 1963 was enacted to impose, by law, reasonable restrictions in the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India. In order to implement the provisions of 1963 Act, the Unlawful Activities act was passed.

Body- Discuss how the act impinges on personal liberty of the citizens.

  • The definition of “unlawful activities” includes “disclaiming” or “questioning” the territorial integrity of India, and causing “disaffection” against India. These words are staggeringly vague and broad, and come close to establishing a regime of thought-crimes.
  • “Membership” of unlawful and terrorist organisations is a criminal offence, and in the latter case, it can be punished with life imprisonment. But the Act fails entirely to define what “membership” entails.
  • Section 43D(5) of the Act prohibits courts from granting bail to a person if “on a perusal of the case diary or the [police] report etc.

Conclusion– Discuss the important cases related to UAPA and mention the imperative to eliminate excessive discretion and denial of judicial review under the act in order to realize the personal liberty of all the citizens of the modern India etc. You can also form your own conclusion.