Criminalisation of passive membership under the UAPA
The Leaflet / by Mihir Desai
The running motif of the recent Supreme Court judgment on the UAPA (and POTA and TADA) is that under the guise of sovereignty and integrity of the nation, the Parliament can do anything and pass any law. The judgment is likely to lead to more arrests and denial of bail, and further stigmatise dissidents and their work. It virtually sanctions a police State.
Additionally, the First Schedule to the UAPA, which lists banned terrorist organisations, mentions in many entries that their ‘frontal organisations’ are also banned. These frontal organisations are not notified anywhere and suddenly make their first appearance only in chargesheets. For instance, in the Bhima Koregaon cases, the chargesheets filed by national investigation agencies implicate persons on the basis of their membership of frontal organisations such as the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights and the Indian Association of Peoples Lawyers, among others. These organisations were never notified as unlawful or banned. But by the present judgment, mere membership of these organisations will render all members liable to prosecution and punishment.
● UAPA – CRIMINALISING DISSENT AND STATE TERROR – Study of UAPA Abuse in India, 2009-2022 (PUCL / Sep 2022)
● NIA Opposes Stan Swamy’s Bail; Calls PUCL, Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan ‘Maoist Fronts’ (The Wire / Jan 2021)
● 2 years, 3 charge sheets & 16 arrests — Why Bhima Koregaon accused are still in jail (The Print / Oct 2020)