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Parliament LIVE: Rajya Sabha Passes UAPA Bill That Gives Govt Power to Declare Individuals as Terrorist

News18.com | August 2, 2019, 1:38 PM IST
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Parliament LIVE: The Rajya Sabha today passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill that enables the government to designate individuals as terrorists, even as the Opposition said it would infringe on the liberty of a person. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, Congress leader P Chidambaram said: “If you see reasons for amendment, it says 'to empower NIA'. In passing you say 'empowers Centre to add or remove an individual's name as a terrorist', this mischief is why we are opposing this amendment, we are not opposing Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

He added that it would be better for the government to hear them out in Parliament instead of “forcing us to go to a building a kilometre away” — referring to the Supreme Court. Chidambaram also said courts would strike down the amendment as it was against the rights of a person and was based on just the government’s “belief” that he/she was a terrorist. The Congress veteran said it was wrong to compare a terrorist like Hafiz Saeed with activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the in the Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case.
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Aug 2, 2019 1:34 pm (IST)
br /> Rajya Sabha Passes UAPA Amendment Bill | The Rajya Sabha passes the Unlawful Amendment Prevention Activities Bill that designates individuals as a terrorist. 

Aug 2, 2019 1:18 pm (IST)

The UAPA Amendment Bill will not be referred to the standing committee after 104 members voted in the negative and 85 in the affirmative. 

Aug 2, 2019 1:11 pm (IST)

Each member of the Rajya Sabha are now casting their votes on the first amendment of the Bill after a division on the motion was called. 

Aug 2, 2019 1:04 pm (IST)

Motion to Refer Bill to Standing Committee | The Speaker moves the motion to refer the first amendment of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Bill to a standing committee. 

Aug 2, 2019 1:01 pm (IST)

Congress' P Chidambaram questions the Amit Shah at which stage the individual will be named a terrorist to which the Home Minister replies saying that in some cases (gives the example of Dawood Ibrahim where the person in question has fled abroad) we will have no option but to only take circumstantial evidence to justify designation. 

Aug 2, 2019 12:59 pm (IST)

Amit Shah furthers says that the issue that the state police will no longer be able to weigh in on the cases filed under the UAPA is a misnomer. "There have been many problems, especially inter-state, that have arisen as a result of the cases being with the state police," he says to justify the cases being taken over by the National Investigation Agency. 

Aug 2, 2019 12:53 pm (IST)

Home Minister Amit Shah takes another potshot at the opposition Congress party. "I have only brought an amendment, I didn't bring the law. We can only be one step ahead of the terrorists if we keep bringing in reforms. All the previous amendments had been brought in by the Congress. The moment they went to the other side, they change their perspective, why is that."

Aug 2, 2019 12:47 pm (IST)

'What Are We Afraid Of' Asks Amit Shah | Amit Shah further says, "US, Pakistan, China & UN all designate an individual as a terrorist, then what are we afraid of?"

Aug 2, 2019 12:43 pm (IST)

Amit Shah Counters Oppn's Arguments | Home Minister Amit Shah begins his response in the debate on UAPA Bill. "The nature of cases pertaining to terrorism registered by the NIA is very complicated. There are issues that arise between countries and states," he says trying to assert the importance of Bill's provisions Countering the argument raised by P Chidambaram he say, "My contention is the same. If we ban one organisation, another one comes up by same individuals. Till when will we keep banning organisations?"

Aug 2, 2019 12:32 pm (IST)

In his closing argument, Congress's Digvijaya Singh says, "Even Sardar Vallabhai Patel used to sit on the seat you are sitting on. He was a statesman from Gujarat, like you. Why don't you forsake your position as BJP chief to JP Nadda."

Aug 2, 2019 12:28 pm (IST)

Taking a jibe at the BJP for facilitating the entry of terror-accused Pragya Singh Thakur to the Parliament, Congress's Digvijaya Singh says, "Those who are still accused of terrorism the BJP chief makes them a candidate and they become a Lok Sabha member. Have another schedule for such people."

Aug 2, 2019 12:24 pm (IST)

Congress' Digvijaya Singh begins by saying that the matter should be referred to a standing committee. "We suspect their intention because the Congress had never compromised with terrorists. But they have," he says citing the Masood Azhar case. 

Aug 2, 2019 12:19 pm (IST)

P Chidambaram in his argument against the UAPA Bill also says that the government cannot compare a Hafiz Saeed to activist Gautam Navlakha. Following this, the House breaks into a ruckus with some MPs urging the Speaker to expunge the statement. 

Aug 2, 2019 12:16 pm (IST)

"Tell us who you have in mind to name. If the first name turns out to be a name because of case and conviction, but if you name someone only because you believe they are involved in terrorism that day you will not be able to sleep, " the former Home Minister P Chidambaram says in his closing statement. He once again rakes up the issue of the anti-terror hub National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) saying that if the BJP government wanted to effectively counter-terrorism they would implement these initiatives. 

Aug 2, 2019 12:09 pm (IST)

'This Will be Inevitably Struck Down' Says Cong | In a scathing statement, Congress's P Chidambaram says, "It is not the freedom of organisation we are talking about it is the liberty of the individual. If we pass this, institutional conscience will prevail and this (law) will be struck down."

Aug 2, 2019 12:03 pm (IST)

'What is the Purpose of Amendment' Asks Cong | Congress MP P Chidambaram says, "Now the act deals with Unlawful Activities and it deals with terrorist acts. They are not the same, they are defined separately... Why I say this is, even before the Amendment individuals are covered under this act - an individual who commits an act is punishable under this act. There is no distinction between punishing an unlawful association and punishing a member of an unlawful organisation. If they are covered, why do you bring this amendment?" 

Aug 2, 2019 11:57 am (IST)

Aam Admi Party's Sanjay Singh says that under the earlier Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act more than 4000 people were prosecuted but only 13 people were found guilty. He invokes other examples in which several people were wrongfully imprisoned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002. "Under this Bill, the NIA (National Investigation Agency) can arrest anyone in any state. This is against the spirit of federalism," he says.

Aug 2, 2019 11:51 am (IST)

BSP Takes Soft Stand | Bahujan Samaj Party's Satish Chandra Misra says, "We request an assurance from the government and Home Minister that it will not be misused," he says and adds, "But a terrorist is a terrorist. We have no problem in the short amendment."

Aug 2, 2019 11:39 am (IST)

YSRCP's Vijaysai Reddy extends his support to the UAPA Bill and says, "We support the vision of the Home Minister to make country terrorist-free."

Aug 2, 2019 11:38 am (IST)

Demanding that the bill be referred to a standing committee, PDP MP Mohammad Fayaz further says, "In Kashmir, the situation has been bad for the past 30 years. If there is an encounter in any place the militant goes to someone's house (and this happened in Kashmir,) and compels them with a gun to feed him. Through this bill, even these innocent people who are forced to give food and shelter to these militants will be designated as terrorists." Fayaz also asks Home Minister Amit Shah why the Ministry is sending additional troops to the Valley.

Aug 2, 2019 11:29 am (IST)

'J&K Will be Affected The Most' | People Democratic Party MP Mohammad Fayaz says that the misuse of such a bill affects the people of Jammu and Kashmir the most. He cites the cases of the wrongful imprisonment of Mohammed Ali and Latif Ahmed who after spending 23 years in jail were let go off after being declared innocent. 

Aug 2, 2019 11:26 am (IST)

Presidential nominee to the Rajya Sabha Swapan Dasgupta express his support for the Bill saying that the reforms in the legislation should be made so that the security forces are "one step ahead of the terrorists". 

Aug 2, 2019 11:22 am (IST)

DMK's P Wilson demands that the bill be referred to a standing committee. "The act doesn't state who is the officer in the Central government who will brand the person as a terrorist. The officer is not a judicial authority. The designation can happen arbitrarily," he says.  

Aug 2, 2019 11:17 am (IST)

To frame someone as a terrorist is very easy, but we don't consider what their families go through, RJD's Manoj Jha says while expressing his opposition to the UAPA bill. 

Aug 2, 2019 11:14 am (IST)

Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha lists all the "problems" with the proposed UAPA bill. Calling its provisions draconian, he says the Bill essentially panders to an ideology that conflates nation with the government. "If I criticise the government I am called an anti-national," he says.

Aug 2, 2019 11:12 am (IST)

Discussion on UAPA Begins | CPI(M)'s Elamaram Kareem in his argument against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act says, "This will lead to large scale harassment." He cites the previous POTA and TADA laws under which, he says, thousands of Muslims were arrested. "You don't want the opposition to speak against you," Kareem says in a scathing statement. 

Aug 2, 2019 10:49 am (IST)

Ahead of the Parliament session, BJP MPs from West Bengal hold a protest in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue in Parliament over the law and order situation in the state.

Aug 2, 2019 10:15 am (IST)

Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh has given an adjournment motion notice on Unnao rape case. Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh has given an adjournment motion notice on Unnao rape case The Opposition parties have been waging protests in the Parliament over the Rae Bareli accident case claiming government inaction.

Aug 2, 2019 9:04 am (IST)

Wages Code Bill on List of Business | The Upper House is also set to consider the passage of the Wage Code Bill that will enable introduction of minimum wage for every worker. Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar on Tuesday had said that the 50 crore workers will benefit from the Bill which seeks to amend and consolidate the laws relating to wages and bonus. 

Aug 2, 2019 9:00 am (IST)

Several opposition parties including the Congress, Samajwadi Party, Trinamool Congress and MDMK have opposed the bill expressing concerns that the law could be used against anyone who opposes the government. Amit Shah in the debate in the Lower House had countered the claims saying that the tough anti-terror laws will only enable the government to weed out terrorists. 

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Parliament LIVE: Rajya Sabha Passes UAPA Bill That Gives Govt Power to Declare Individuals as Terrorist

Several opposition parties have staunchly opposed the bill expressing concerns about its “draconian” provisions. The Lok Sabha last week saw a bitter debate unfold between the two sides as the opposition leaders kept pressing that the law could be used against anyone who opposed the government.

Home Minister Amit Shah at the time had countered their concerns asserting that the anti-terror laws would only be used to root out terrorism. In a controversial statement, he had also said, “There are crores of people who are working as social activists or workers…they are never being targeted (by the police). But there are a few who work for the urban Maoists and these people won’t be spared."

The Upper House will also be considering the passage of the Code on Wages Bill, 2019 that has provisions enabling the introduction of the minimum wage for every worker. The Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha with a voice vote on Tuesday, subsumes four labour laws -- Minimum Wages Act, Payment of Wages Act, Payment of Bonus Act and Equal Remuneration Act. After its enactment, all these four Acts would be repealed.

Meanwhile, the Lok Sabha will take up a discussion on The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to do away with the nomination of the president of the Indian National Congress as a trustee of the Jallianwala Bagh Memorial Trust.
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