Elders debate UAPA Bill, voting today

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 01, 2019

The Rajya Sabha started discussion on the amendments to Unlawful Activities Prevention (UAPA) Bill. Left parties, the DMK and the MDMK moved a motion seeking to send the Bill to a select committee of Rajya Sabha alleging that it has provisions that can be used even against Opposition members and certain sections are against federalism.

Participating in the debate, MDMK leader Vaiko said he is a victim of regressive laws such as MISA, TADA and POTA, which can be used against political opponents too. He said his support to LTTE was interpreted as an anti national activity and he was put behind bars by the Jayalalithaa Government. He urged the Centre to send the Bill to a select committee for a careful study of it.

The debate on the Bill will continue on Friday too. The Opposition earlier urged the Centre to take the Bill for debate on Friday. But the government was of the opinion that the Bill could be passed on Thursday itself. Later, after a discussion among the leaders, it was decided that the discussion will be completed before lunch on Friday. Chairman Venkaiah Naidu announced it in the House.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) said in statement that through the amendments to UAPA the Home Ministry will get legal authority to declare any individual as a terrorist in any state and need not inform the concerned state government. “The properties of such identified people can be confiscated. Individuals expressing dissent can now be declared as terrorists arbitrarily. The principle of jurisprudence has been turned upside down by placing the onus on the person on whom allegations are being made to prove his/her innocence. Instead of being innocent till guilt is proved, now the principle is of being guilty till you prove your innocence. This will lead to large-scale harassment, vindictiveness and gross injustice. The federal principle has been given the go-by with the state governments, under whose jurisdiction is the subject `law and order', will be bypassed,” said a statement from CPI(M) Polit Bureau.

Published on August 01, 2019

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