In a shocking display of incompetence, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has been unable to provide the latest statistics related to persons booked, jailed, convicted under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 when asked pointed questions during the ongoing monsoon session. The ministry has provided data only till the year 2019.
MHA Minister of State Nityanand Rai, in his written response dated August 10, informed the Lok Sabha that the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) compiles data on crime as reported to it by States and Union Territories, and publishes the same in its annual publication ‘Crime in India’. But the published reports are available only till the year 2019.
His answer reveals that in the year 2019, 1,226 cases were registered in total under UAPA, which led to 1,948 arrests. Out of this load, chargesheets were filed only in 485 cases that reached courts for trial. Shockingly, in the same year, chargesheets were filed after a duration of 1 year (365 days) in as many as 157 cases, forcing the people against whom cases were being pursued to remain in custody despite not having been proven guilty.
Under the stringent provisions of the UAPA, investigative agencies get 180 days to probe a case, compared to 60 to 90 days under ordinary criminal law. This essentially means an accused is eligible to apply for bail only after six months. Data related to 2017 and 2018 is as follows:
UAPA cases registered
Cases charge sheeted and sent for trial
Cases where charge sheeted filed after 1 year
In another written answer provided by Nityanand Rai on July 27, he revealed that last year, 34 people were arrested and nine cases were registered by the Delhi Police under UAPA. However, he refused to reveal the names of persons arrested citing “public interest” issues. His answer read, “Disclosure of further details of cases may not be in a larger public interest as the same may impact the cases”, as we had previously reported in SabrangIndia.
It’s public knowledge that out of the 34 detained people in the National Capital, majority of them are student activists and human rights defenders, implicated in last year’s Delhi violence case. They are Tahir Hussain, Khalid Saifi, Ishrat Jahan, Meeran Haider, Gulfisha Fatima, Safoora Zargar, Asif Iqbal Tanha, Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal, Dr. Umar Khalid, Shafa-ur-Rehman, Athar Khan, Saleem Malik, Taslim Ahmed, Shadab Ahmed and Faizan Khan.
Natasha, Devangana, Asif and Safoora are out on bail, wherein the bail hearings of Umar Khalid, Ishrat Jahan, Khalid Saifi are underway. Yesterday, on August 9, a call was given by over 165 groups from across India, including SabrangIndia’s sister organisation Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), demanding the repeal of UAPA and other draconian laws.
The groups have demanded for the release of all political prisoners, the restoration of the Right to Bail, compensation for all those booked under these laws and demanding accountability from those officials who fabricate cases and justice for Father Stan.
The answer may be read here:
Time that UAPA is made to Quit India!
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