"Cases investigated by CBI/ED/NIA/Special Cell of Delhi Police, Crime Branch, SFIO, Terror related Cases, Riot cases, cases under Anti-National Activities and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act etc." [emphasis mine]
... (b) 'anti-national activity', in relation to an individual or association, means any action taken by such individual or association —
(i) which is intended, or which supports any claim, to bring about, on any ground whatsoever, the cession of a part of the territory of India or the secession of a part of the territory of India or which incites any individual or association to bring about such cession or secession;(ii) which disclaims, questions, threatens, disrupts or is intended to threaten or disrupt the sovereignty and integrity of India or the security of the State or the unity of the nation;(iii) which is intended, or which is part of a scheme which is intended, to overthrow by force the Government as by law established;(iv) which is intended, or which is part of a scheme which is intended, to create internal disturbance or the disruption of public services;(v) which is intended, or which is part of a scheme which is intended, to threaten or disrupt harmony between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or cases or communities; ...
- Arms Act, 1959 — The original Statement of Objects and Reasons [SOR] for the 1959 legislation referred to "anti-social or anti-national elements" using weapons and bombs, and the SOR for the 1988 amendments to the Act also refer to challenges posed by "terrorist and anti national elements";
- National Security Act, 1980 — The SOR of what is today's the primary central statute on preventive detention referred to the "current crisis" posed by "anti social and anti national elements including secessionist, communal, and pro-caste elements" which "pose a grave threat ... and sometimes even hold society to ransom.";
- Goa, Daman and Diu School Education Act, 1984 — Section 12 states that employees are to be governed by a code of conduct, and Section 12(2)(b) prescribes that the "Code shall prescribe, inter alia that no employee shall propagate anti-national, communal, caste, or sectarian outlook.";
- Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 — The SOR states that subscribers and others are unaware of their rights and duties in respect of "protection of subscribers from anti-national broadcasts from sources inimical to our national interest";
- Uttarakhand Police Act, 2007 — Section 2(i) defines "internal security" as meaning "preservation of sovereignty and integrity of the state from disruptive and anti-national forces";
- Sikkim Police Act, 2008 — Section 2(g) defines "internal security" in language identical to the 2007 Uttarakhand Act; [Note: similar clauses can be found in other recent police acts as well]
- U.P. Fighters of Democracy Act, 2016 — The Act creates a framework for paying honour money to those who stood up against the Emergency. Section 5 of this statute specifies conditions for cancelling the payment of honour money, and one condition in Section 5(i) is the "participation in any crime of moral turpitude and in any anti-national activity" (Oh, the irony);
- M.P. Loktantra Senani Samman Adhiniyam 2018 — The Madhya Pradesh version of the same law, and Section 9(1)(a) provides for an identical condition as the Uttar Pradesh law; [Note: similar clauses can be found in other state laws passed under Article 348(3) of the Constitution]
- U.P. Private Universities Act, 2019 — Section 3 of the statute lays down conditions for establishing a university, and Section 3(2)(r) stipulates that the university "to undertake neither to be involved nor to permit anyone to cause or promote anti national activities inside the campus or under the name of the university"
- Besides these categories, there is also subordinate legislation passed through notifications where engaging in "Anti-National" acts deprives persons of some benefits or allows for prohibiting activity. This includes: (i) Government procedures on giving advertisements to newspapers etc., (ii) Service Rules for public servants, (iii) CBFC guidelines on censorship, (iv) Cancelling allotments of land under Government schemes, and (iv) As basis to issue Look-Out Circulars against persons.
- Espionage / Spying;
- Conduct prosecuted under anti-terror laws such as TADA / UAPA;
- Making Secessionist / Communal Speeches;
- Activity such as food adulteration, illicit drug trade, making / handling counterfeit currency, corruption, smuggling, etc. punishable under various laws or legal grounds for preventive detention. [Note: A vast majority of cases seemed to fall within this category]
- In K.V. Subbarao [AIR 1967 AP 202], the Andhra Pradesh High Court was considering the legality of a detention ordered under the Defence of India Rules, 1961, and the detention order stated that the activities of the Petitioner were "anti-national". Refuting the contention of the Petitioner that this was a vague, undefined phrase, that found no mention in the statute and rules and thus could not be the basis of a detention order, the Court held that "Anti-National Activity" had a wide scope and covered all kinds of activities for which detention could be ordered under the law, viz. acts prejudicial to the maintenance of public order, India's relations with foreign powers, maintenance of supplies, conduct of military operations, and the defence of India.
- In Gurkirpal Singh [(1990) 97 PLR 102], the Punjab High Court differentiated between political activity from "anti-national activity" by holding that only the latter could be basis to refuse appointment to a probationer [Here, it was alleged that the appellant was keeping contacts with extremist elements].
- In S. Thirumalaiappan [2011, Madras HC], the Madras High Court explained that the phrase "anti national activities" which came in Rule 40 of the Tamil Nadu Pension Rules, 1978 ["anti national activities such as espionage, sabotage, and the like"] as a valid basis for denying compassionate allowance, included a public servant found committing crimes such as cheating and forgery.
Pertinently, the word anti-national does not find a place in most dictionaries; it is in effect a combination of two words. If one were to deconstruct the meaning of the word anti-national, one would perhaps have to look to the meaning of the word, "Nationalism". The nearest equivalent to the word 'Nationalism' would be patriotism. Patriotism as a concept would be linked to nationhood. Nationhood has several attributes which are, inter alia, inextricably connected with symbols, such as: the National Flag; the National Anthem; the National Song; and perhaps, the common history, culture, tradition and heritage that people of an organized State share amongst themselves.In respect of each of these attributes of nationhood, there may be disparate views amongst persons who form the nation. The diversity of views may relate to, not only, the static symbols, such as, the National Flag and National anthem, etc. but may also pertain to the tradition and heritage of the Nation and the manner in which they are to be taken forward. Contrarian views held by a section of people on these aspects cannot be used to describe such section or class of people as anti-national. Belligerence of views on nationalism can often lead to jingoism. There is a fine but distinct line dividing the two. Either way, views held, by any section or class of people, by itself, cannot be characterized as anti-national activities. [emphasis mine]