Parliament nod for UAPA Bill
In a big boost to the NDA government, Parliament on Friday approved a crucial amendment to an anti-terror law allowing the Centre and states to designate individuals as terrorists and seize their properties.
New Delhi: In a big boost to the NDA government, Parliament on Friday approved a crucial amendment to an anti-terror law allowing the Centre and states to designate individuals as terrorists and seize their properties.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill that seeks to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was passed by the Rajya Sabha with 147 votes in favour and 42 against. The Congress and BSP supported the Bill. This gives power to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to label individuals as terrorists. The House earlier rejected the Opposition-sponsored motion to send the amendment to a select committee with 104 votes against it as compared to 85 in favour. The Congress had also voted in favour of this motion. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill on July 24.
Replying to the debate, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the law, that will be used only to tackle terror, will help agencies remain four steps ahead of terrorists. He accused the Congress of giving colour to the law by linking terrorism to religion for political gains.
He alleged that the Congress misused it to frame people linked to a particular religion, in the context of Samjhauta and Mecca Masjid cases, where the accused have been acquitted by court.
He accused the Congress of misusing laws to target the opposition and cited the example of 'Emergency' in this regard when opposition leaders were put behind bars and restrictions on media were imposed.
This is the third legislation in this session that has cleared the Rajya Sabha hurdle where the ruling party does not have a majority.
Earlier, the government got the RTI Amendment Bill and the Triple Talaq Bill passed in the House after it outstrategised the Opposition.
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