The Central Government has notified nine Khalistani leaders as Terrorists.
The Centre invoked its powers under clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, to notify the name of an individual in the Fourth Schedule to the said Act, if it believes that he is involved in terrorism.
In the notifications issued today, the Home Ministry notified the following names: Wadhawa Singh Babbar @ Chacha @ Babbar, Lakhbir Singh @Rode, Ranjeet Singh @ Neeta, , Paramjit Singh @ Panjwar, Bhupinder Singh Bhinda, Gurmeet Singh Bagga, Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Paramjit Singh @ Pamma.
The Ministry said that they are accused in various cases registered and being investigated by the Punjab Police and a case registered by National Investigation Agency and that Red Corner Notices have been issued against them. The Central Government believes that these individuals are involved in terrorism, the notification reads.
Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim, were the first individuals to be declared terrorists invoking the 2019 UAPA Amendment.
2019 Amendment of UAPA Act
As per the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967, the government can notify organizations as terrorist organizations by including them in the First Schedule. Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it: (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) prepares for terrorism, (iii) promotes terrorism, or (iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism. The 2019 Amendment further empowered the Centre to designate individuals as terrorist on the above grounds. It proposes to add 'Fourth Schedule' to the principal Act which will include the names of individuals designated as individuals. An individual aggrieved by the designation as terrorist has the option to challenge it before a Review Committee constituted by the Central Government.
Pleas challenging 2019 Amendment of UAPA are under consideration of the Supreme Court. One such petition by Sajal Awasthi, a resident of Delhi, contends that conferring of such a discretionary, unfettered and unbound powers upon the central government is antithesis to the Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The petitioner contends that the amendment strikes at Fundamental Rights of an individual at various levels, and affects right to reputation.
Click here to Read/Download Notification