Relevant materials on contemporary discourse on terrorism

To facilitate the current discussion on our blog on terrorism, I am providing some relevant links.

1. The National Investigation Agency Bill, 2008.

2. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2008. (Courtesy: 1&2 from the PRS website)

3.Debate in Lok Sabha on December 17, 2008.. (Synopsis, from p.5). The Lok Sabha debate on December 17 may be read fully here. Debate in Rajya Sabha on December 18 may be read here.

4. Letter written by Prof.V.S.Mani on the legal duty to prevent and restrain militant activities on one’s soil. This was in response to the CJI’s article describing it as a moral duty.

5. FIA alone may not be sufficient to reform our security – article by Radha Kumar.

6. Subramanian Swamy says Government can invoke Article 22(3)of the Constitution to deprive Kasab, any possible legal assistance as required under Article 22(1) by treating him as an enemy alien. (A recent decision of the Madras High Court on whether such action is legal can be read here) However, Kasab was not treated as an enemy alien, as he was produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest under IPC, a requirement which could be dispensed with for an enemy alien.

5 comments

  1. On an academic note, would such a privilege of state to deprive an accused of legal assistance and right of prompt production before a magistrate not run foul of obligations under ICCPR, and customary international law? Could 22(3) be in breach of ICCPR?

  2. Thanks for the links Venkatesan. This editorial in the Telegraph criticizes the undue haste with which the Bills were passed – an issue being discussed in the comment section of another post.

    The editorial also points out that the amending Bill has no sunset clause – it is not an emergency legislation for special times, but will stay with us for all times, unless repealed. If I remember correctly, TADA had a sunset clause. Not sure about POTA.

  3. Reading Mr. Mani’s letter along with the links which Venkatesan had posted a few days ago to another blog in “Mumbai Attacks and non-state actors” makes for a very convincing case of legal responsibility of Pakistan in this connection. (And I am not an Indian, but find the arguments impressive, although clearly they are intended to be developed by both authors to a deeper level).

  4. This is section 20 of the NIA Bill:

    20. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, an appeal shall lie from any
    judgment, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court to the High
    Court both on facts and on law.
    (2) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be heard by a bench of two Judges of the
    High Court and shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within a period of three months from
    the date of admission of the appeal.
    (3) Except as aforesaid, no appeal or revision shall lie to any court from any judgment,
    sentence or order including an interlocutory order of a Special Court.

    So an interlocutory order of the special court is final, and is not only not appealable, but also no revision lies against it.

    Note that the Special Court has been given wide powers (“such measures as it deems fit”) in respect of witness anonymity. Presumably, orders in this regard will be interlocutory orders. No revision against even those orders? I understand no appeals agains interlocutory orders – but even revision is banned….

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