Human Rights

Govt wants SC to review verdict on mere membership of outfit

Union Government is planning to move the Apex Court against its verdict that mere membership of a banned outfit will not make an individual criminal. The Home Ministry believes that this verdict would end the powers to arrest terror suspects without substantial evidence against them.

Under the existing Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), even mere membership of a banned outfit is sufficient ground for arrest and punishment. The Supreme Court in its order had held that mere membership of a banned organisation cannot incriminate a person unless he is proven to have resorted to acts of violence, incited people to violence or endangered, or tried to create disorder, or public peace through violence.

The Assam government that lost two cases relating to the banned outfit ULFA has informed the Centre about its move to file review petitions. Gurudas Kamat, minister of state in the home affairs told the Lok Sabha that, “The Union of India would also implead itself as part of the said petitions for review.” He also informed that there is no proposal to amend the law after the SC verdict.