A Public Interest Litigation has been filed by a private individual in the Supreme Court, challenging the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019, as unconstitutional.
The PIL is expected to come up for hearing within two weeks, as per the apex court registry on Saturday. Sajal Awasthi, the private individual, has moved the apex court, and averred that the UAPA Act, 2019, is ultra vires and unconstitutional.
The petition contended that this UAPA act is violative of the fundamental rights as enshrined under Article 14 (Right to Equality), 19 (Right to Free Speech and Expression) and 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution of India.
It stated that the amendment allows notification of ‘individuals as terrorists’ while under UAPA, 1967, only organisations could be so notified. Awasthi further said that Section 35 of UAPA 2019 does not specify detailed grounds on which an individual can be termed as terrorist.
The PIL also stated that conferring of such an ‘arbitrary and unfettered power without any limits or bounds’ amount to violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
Awasthi submitted, ‘The new or amended Section 35 of the UAPA Act, 1967, empowers the Central government to categorise any individual as terrorist and add name of such a person in Schedule 4 of the Act.’