Unlawful Activities Prevention Act

Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967


Unlawful Activities Prevention Act is an Indian regulation aimed toward the prevention of illegal associations in India. Its primary purpose is to make powers accessible for handling activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. It is an Act to offer for the sensible prevention of some unlawful activities of individuals and associations. The UAPA originated from a constitutional change passed in 1963 on the advice of the National Integration Council (NIC) when Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. It aimed toward logical prevention of unlawful activities in India. This law gives the Central Government absolute power over which, if the centre approves an activity as illegal, it is considered unlawful.

What is Unlawful law?

An unlawful act is an infringement of the legal laws, rules, and duties of society. In each civilized society, a code of behaviour exists that manages how humans should behave. If someone violates that Code of behaviour, the moment in violation is considered an unlawful act. If something is illegal, the regulation no longer allows you to do it. ‘Unlawful’ is a behaviour that is prohibited by law; a ‘crime’ is also behaviour that is not permitted by law but of a more serious level. For unlawful conduct, the accused person seeks a personal remedy such as compensation.

What is an unlawful activity under UAPA?

Unlawful activity, involving an individual or association, means any action taken by that individual or association whether by consecrating an act or by words, spoken or written or by visible signs or representations which refers to or supports any claim for any reason causing surrender part of the territory of India or the secession of part of the territory of India from the Union or which induces an individual or a group of individuals to make such cession or secession; or which refutes, questions, interrupts or aims to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India; or which provokes or aims to provoke disaffection with India; Illegal activity means any conduct which includes a crime or which contravenes a law, regardless of whether such conduct took place before or after the entry into force of this law and whether such conduct took place within Republic or elsewhere.

Who can investigate under UAPA?

Any officer of the appointed authority entrusted in this behalf, by general or unique order of the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be to commit any offence under this Act or has the motive to acknowledge from personal knowledge or information given by any individual and taken in writing that any person has committed a crime illegitimate under this Act or from any document or article which may provide proof of the commission of such offence or from any illegally acquired property or any document that may provide evidence of holding any acquired illegal property which is liable for seizure or freezing or forfeiture under this Chapter is kept or concealed in any building, conveyance or the position may authorize any officer associate to him to imprison such a person or search such building, transferral or position whether by day or by dark or himself charge such a person or search such building, conveyance or place. If an officer examining an offence committed under Chapter IV or Chapter VI has reason to believe that any property about which an investigation is being conducted represents proceeds of terrorism, he shall with the prior approval in writing of the Director-General of the Police of the State in which such equity is arranged, make a declaration seizing such justice and where it is not acceptable to invade such property, make an order of attachment directing that such justice should not be replaced or otherwise except with the prior approval of the officer making such rule, or of the appointed authority before whom the property seized or related is produced and a copy of such order shall be fulfilled on the person concerned.

What is UAPA Act Punishment?

Whoever takes part in or commits, recommends, assists advise or stimulates the council of any unlawful action should be punishable with a detention term which may expand to seven years and should also be responsible to penalty. Whoever in any way helps any illegal activity in any association, announced unlawful under section 3, after the information by which it has been so declared has become beneficial under sub-section (3) shall be felonious with detention for a term which may extend to five years, or with a penalty or with both. Beneath in this section should pertain to any treaty or rule entered between the Government of India and the Government of any other country or to any negotiations, therefore, carried on by any person authorized on this behalf by the Government of India.

Does UAPA define terrorism?

Sometimes UAPA defines terrorism as follows: Whoever does any act with purpose to endanger or likely to threaten the unity, integrity, security, or sovereignty of India or with intent to strike terror or likely to strike terror in the people or any section of the people in India or any foreign country, by using bombs, dynamite or other explosive substances or inflammable substances or other lethal weapons or poisonous gases or other chemicals or by any other implications of a dangerous nature or by any other means of whatever nature to cause or likely to cause the death of, or injuries to, any individual or damage to, or destruction of, property; or disruption of any supplies or services important to the life of the community in India or any foreign country; or damage to, the monetary stability of India by way of production or looting or circulation of excellent counterfeit Indian paper currency, coin or of any other material; is considered as terrorism.

Is UAPA bailable in India?

Section 43D(5) says anything contained in the Code, no one condemned of an offence punishable under Chapters IV and VI of this Act shall, if in imprisonment be released on bail or his contract unless the Public Prosecutor has been given an opportunity of being heard on the application for such discharge.
Provided that such an accused person shall not be released on bail or his bond if the Court, on a perusal of the case diary or the report made under section 173 of the Code, believes that there are adequate grounds for assuming that the charge against such person is prima facie true.
The provision makes a grant of bail virtually impossible under UAPA since it leaves little room for judicial reasoning. For example: In the case of Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali, the Supreme Court confirmed in 2019 that the courts must accept the state’s case without evaluating its merits and granting bail.

What UAPA’s poor strike rate says about misuse?

The slapping of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for cheering Pakistan’s win against India has given rise to the terror law into focus, but its aim has put up questions in the past too because the Jammu and Kashmir Police have booked students of two medical colleges in Srinagar under the strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly raising Pro-Pakistani slogans in the ICC Cricket World T20 after Pakistan winning against India. The cases were filed on the basis of some unproven videos were circulated on social media, in which some teenagers were seen raising Pro-Pak slogans and singing the Pakistani national anthem in a closed area, which appears to be a hall or the dormitory of a hostel. The medical students have been booked under UAPA, Section 13. In which jail term may extend from five to seven years. There is no provision for anticipatory bail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Also, the students will also be marked “overground workers of anti-India organisations” in police records and denied all government-funded benefits in the future. Since the event coincided with the Union home minister Amit Shah’s visit to Kashmir, the first since the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019, some have called it a political action.


The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was amended by:

  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 1969 (24 of 1969).
  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1972 (31 of 1972).
  • The Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1986 (4 of 1986).
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004 (29 of 2004).
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008 (35 of 2008).
  • Individuals can also be tagged under the terrorist Amendment Act, 2019.

Mechanism of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment Act, 2019:

For trial under section 13 of the UAPA, the permission of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is required. However, for trial under sections 16,17, and 18, the approval of the respective State government is required. Section 25 allows the NIA to occupy property it assumes to be proceeds of terrorism, with the written consent of the Director-General of Police (DGP) of the State. However, the NIA officer can obtain the consent of the DGP of the NIA, thus bypassing the state DGP. Generally, Police have 60 to 90 days to inspect a case and submit a charge sheet declining which the accused may obtain bail. However, under the UAPA, this pre-charge sheet time is broadened to 180 days. Ordinary bail rules do not apply to an impeached under 43(d)5 of the UAPA.

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