India’s Anti-Terrorism Laws: An Undying Threat

Soham Vijaykumar Jagtap and Garima Saxena
Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

India’s history of formulating anti-terror laws has been rather despondent since its independence. More often than not they’re in breach of constitutional principles and intrinsic civil rights, despite the fact that the old ones are discarded and new ones are into place, as if spokes from the same wheel. These legislations often override the ordinary criminal code of the country and the rule of law in the name of protecting the sovereignty and integrity of India; in doing so we have failed to break the practices which the British had so often implemented in India in order to sustain their absolute control over the people. In a democratic India, we need to see let go of the ghosts of our past and usher the country into a bright future, however, anti-terror legislations such as the UAPA, NIAA and previously the POTA and TADA are one of the many reasons holding us back. They give unbridled power to the executive and allow the depravation of liberty to become an easy business. This paper will discuss how the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, has stifled human rights in India and remains the most draconic legislation in present India with the excess of investigative authority and depravation of liberty it permits in the light of recent developments.