‘People raising their voice against govt. are being targeted under these laws’
The Movement against the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other Repressive Laws (MURL), a joint platform of activists and groups for mobilising public opinion against these laws, has passed resolutions demanding repeal of all repressive laws.
Overall 796 cases have been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in 2020, according to the latest data published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Besides, 4,071 cases were pending investigation till 2019 and 10 cases were reopened for investigation. In total, 4,827 cases are pending.
Human rights activists and advocates discussed about the UAPA, Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, National Securities Act (NSA) and sedition law at a seminar ‘Repressive laws under BJP Regime’ held in Chennai on Saturday.
They expressed concern about the judiciary not granting bail to those jailed under such laws and urged the government to provide compensation and take legal action against investigation officers in the cases which end up in acquittal.
The activists sought a time-frame to conclude trial in these cases.
E.M. Abdul Rahiman, an activist from Kerala said, “Not only minorities, but even journalists, human rights activists and all those who are raising their voice against the policies of the government are being targeted under these laws.”
Prof. A. Marx, chairperson of National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation said, “It is the duty of every Indian to defend the Constitution by fighting the draconian laws that are against the Constitution.”
Singh Juj a farmer leader from Punjab, felt the farm laws completely violate the rights of the farmers. Efforts are being made to arrest them in false cases under these laws, he charged.
Highlighting the repressive provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), K.P. Mohamad Shareef, an advocate, said the main threat contained in the PMLA is that both powers of investigation and adjudication are being given to a single agency, which ultimately leads to deeper misuse.
Rajesh Ningthoukhongajam, a rights activist from Manipur highlighted the “blatant missue” of the AFSPA for the last 53 years in Manipur.
Pendency rate of cases for trial in the courts is 94.4%, the activists said.
“Acquittal rate is five times more than conviction. Out of 142 cases disposed of by the courts, only 27 were convicted with the rate of 21.1 %; 14 cases were abated; in 2 cases, the accused were discharged and 99 cases ended in acquittal,” said A. Mohamed Yusuff, an advocate and central committee of MURL.
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