National Security Act: India

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Use of NSA

Using NSA when there is no law and order problem

SC: Can’t pass a blanket order on invoking NSA

January 25, 2020: The Times of India

Can’t pass a blanket order on invoking NSA in Delhi: Supreme Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court said it could not pass a blanket order on a plea which sought to restrain the government from invoking the National Security Act when there was no law and order problem and refused to entertain the PIL against imposition of the Act in the capital.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee refused to entertain a plea filed by lawyer M L Sharma who contended that the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act are peaceful in Delhi and there was no need to invoke the stringent law.

The bench, however, allowed the petitioner to file a fresh plea in case of misuse of NSA by government authorities. “We agree that NSA should not be misused but there cannot be a general direction,” the bench said.

Delhi’s lieutenant governor Anil Baijal had on January 10 extended detaining powers to Delhi Police under NSA for a three-month period starting January 19.

Misuse of NSA

As in 2020

September 7, 2020: The Times of India

NSA misused as a punitive tool: Legal experts

The Allahabad high court, while ordering the release of Dr Kafeel Khan, who spent seven months in jail after he was slapped with the National Security Act (NSA) by the Uttar Pradesh police, had said his detention under the Act was “unsustainable in the eyes of the law”. The high court had also indicted authorities for slapping NSA on Khan “on a whim”.

But Khan, charged under NSA for a speech against the CAA and the NRC outside Aligarh Muslim University last December, isn’t alone. The Act has been used across the country to book people for various ‘offences’ that are considered a threat to peace — from dumping the carcass of cow progeny in a field to criticising the ‘lackadaisical’ approach of authorities in dealing with the Covid threat at airports to organising a Muharram procession.

As some of them were later found to be not guilty while many continue to languish in jails, a large section of the legal fraternity has condemned the “indiscriminate use” of the Act, saying it has been misused over the years and states should refrain from invoking it unless it has reasonable material to justify its use.

NSA slapped on 142 this year in UP, 76 in cow slaughter cases

Legal experts say statutes like the NSA, with its preventive detention power, often become a tool that authorities resort to, not for prevention of any crime but as a method to punish. At least 142 people have been slapped with the NSA in Uttar Pradesh since January 1 this year. The NSA has been invoked against 76 in cow slaughter cases, nine others in cases of crime against girl children, 37 against those accused in heinous crimes and 20 others in miscellaneous cases. Khan’s case is the first this year where a court has intervened. Sample this. UP police slapped the NSA against Peace Party president and former MLA Mohammed Ayub, who was arrested on July 31 for releasing an advertisement in Urdu dailies raising questions on the Constitution. Ayub was arrested from Gorakhpur after a case was registered against him for writing a piece to stoke communal passion in Lucknow.

While Lucknow police claimed that Ayub had written an objectionable piece on July 30 which could have led to communal tension ahead of festivals, Ayub’s counsel IB Singh said there was no basis for the state to charge Ayub under the Act as he talked about integration of religions and spreading amity in those advertisements.

Mohammed Noor, a gram pradhan, was booked under the NSA after he was found to be dumping the carcass of bovine progeny in an open field in UP’s Jaunpur district. Police said that the recovery led to communal tension in the area and Mohammed was arrested and the NSA was invoked later.

In Ahmedabad, police booked an NRI, Abhimanyu Acharya, under the NSA on March 21 for allegedly “spreading lies about the lackadaisical approach” of city airport management in dealing with the Covid-19 threat. Acharya, who reached Ahmedabad from Canada via Abu Dhabi, had said that he was not made to go through even a thermal temperature scan at the airport and was only made to fill a self-declaration form. Police claimed in the FIR that he had disrespected the country by spreading lies about it.

At least six people, all habitual offenders, were booked under the NSA in Odisha this year for heinous offences, including murder and dacoity. All of them are in jail. The NSA was slapped against them to prevent their immediate release to “maintain peace”.

In Madhya Pradesh, a former BJP corporator and five others were held under the NSA on September 1 for allegedly organising a procession in Indore’s Khajrana area on Muharram. The corporator was arrested for violating the collector’s orders against taking out a Tazia procession.

Khajrana police station in charge Dinesh Verma said Patel, who had quit BJP in February over the CAA, was trying to incite others against the police. He was sent to jail. MP police recommended the NSA on 478 people till July in the state. In Tamil Nadu, folk singer Kovan was arrested in 2015 and activist Thiru Murugan Gandhi in 2018 under the NSA. While Kovan had prepared a song criticising former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, Gandhi held protests against the government. They were later released.

(With inputs from Indore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar and Chennai)


NSA must be invoked in exceptional circumstances, only when there is a threat to the country or public order is disturbed or foreign relation is affected. The law has been misused over the years. The law was misused in the 80s in Gujarat by Congress-led government and now it is being misused across the country and the worrying part is that the law is now being invoked to target minority communities. It is being grossly abused to target certain sections of society. Allahabad high court judgment in Dr Kafeel Khan case is eye-opener and the state government must accept it and release all those people who were detained for protesting against CAA. It is not good for the democracy DUSHYANT DAVE CHAIRMAN, SUPREME COURT BAR ASSOCIATION & SENIOR ADVOCATE

The stringent provisions of NSA are to be sparingly invoked because the offences covered by the Act are of serious nature. Unless the state has reasonable material to justify slapping of any of the provisions of Act they must refrain from doing so. Allahabad high court’s anguish in Dr Kafeel Khan’s case is a lesson for the state to go slow in charging the provisions of such Acts on any citizen MAJEED MEMON SENIOR ADVOCATE

NSA allows for detention without trial. These are often used to ensure detention without having to justify the reason in a court of law and thus even without proving guilt. It allows the executive to take on the role of the judicial officer. What we see is that statutes like NSA become a tool that authorities resort to, not for prevention of any crime, but to punish MIHIR DESAI SENIOR ADVOCATE


2017, 2018

September 22, 2020: The Times of India

2/3rd of NSA detentions in 2017-18 in MP, says MHA


Nearly twothirds of the total 1,198 preventive detentions under the National Security Act (NSA) in 2017-18 were made in Madhya Pradesh and 28% in Uttar Pradesh, Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.

According to the latest NCRB data shared by junior home minister G Kishan Reddy in reply to a question, a total 697 persons were detained under NSA in the country in 2018, of which 495 were in Madhya Pradesh & 167 in Uttar Pradesh. In 2017, of the 501 persons detained under NSA, 300 were in Madhya Pradesh & 171 in Uttar Pradesh.

To a pointed query on any plan to repeal the “undemocratic” Act, the minister said there was no such proposal under consideration of the government.

As per NCRB report on ‘Crime in India’ for the year 2018, 406 persons, including 333 in Madhya Pradesh and 57 in Uttar Pradesh, were released by the Advisory Board that is required by NSA to review each case of detention. The remaining 291, including 162 in MP and 110 in UP, stayed in custody or detention in 2018. Similarly, of the 501 persons detained countrywide in 2017, 229 were released by the Board and 272 remained in custody.

Reddy said not a single detention was made under NSA in Delhi in the last five years.

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