Skip to main content

Amnesty releases interactive map of tens of Indian laws allowing "illegal detention", demands their urgent repeal

https://www.amnesty.org.in/lawlesslaws/
Laws applied in Gujarat for "illegal" detention
By Our Representative
World’s powerful human rights organization Amnesty International has alleged that there is a “continuing use of administrative detention laws in India to lock up persons without charge or trial”, violating “the rights of both suspects and victims of human rights abuses.”
An interactive online map published by it shows how nearly states retain these laws to “detain people on executive orders without charge or trial.”
Asking the Government of India and all state governments to “repeal all administrative detention laws”, an Amnesty statement says, “Detained persons must be charged with recognizably criminal offences and promptly prosecuted in fair trials, or else released.” The interactive map shows several states have their own laws which allow "illegal detention", apart from they using certain Central laws.
Gujarat, for instance, uses Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act, 1985, which allows for detention without charge of trial for up to one year to prevent a person "from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.” Rajasthan copied the Gujarat law in 2006, coming with the Rajasthan Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act, 2006.
Maharashtra, on the other hand, has Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Slumlords, Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Dangerous Persons and Video Pirates Act, 1981, which allows for detention without charge of trial for up to six months to prevent a person "from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order".
Then, Karnataka has Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Acid Attackers, Bootleggers, Depredator of Environment, Digital Offenders, Drug Offenders, Gamblers, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Land Grabbers, Money Launderers, Sexual Predators and Video or Audio pirates Act, 1985.
The law allows for detention without charge or trial of up to 12 months of "any acid attacker or bootlegger or depredator of environment or digital offender or drug offender or gambler or goonda or immoral traffic offender or land-grabber or money launderer or sexual predator or video or audio pirate...to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order".
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh use Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Boot-Leggers, Dacoits, Drug-Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders and Land Grabbers Act, 1986, which allows for detention without charge of trial of up to 12 months of any “bootlegger, dacoit, drug-offender, goonda, immoral traffic offender or land grabber...with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order.”
All states use National Security Act, 1980 with impunity, as it allows for detention without charge or trial for up to 12 months to prevent a person "from acting in any manner prejudicial to the defence of India, the relations of India with foreign powers, or the security of India".
It also prevents a person "from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community".
Commenting on these laws, Abhirr VP, Rapid Response Campaigner at Amnesty International India, has said, “Every government has a duty to bring to justice those suspected of crimes. But every government also has a duty to respect fair trial rights, and the criminal justice system loses credibility when people are detained for no good reason.”
He adds, “Administrative detention circumvents the safeguards of a fair trial, and undermines the rule of law”, with the Supreme Court has called administrative detention statutes “lawless laws”.
Amnesty’s statement says, “Data from the National Crime Records Bureau released in September 2015 indicate that over 3200 people were being held in administrative detention in Indian jails in December 2014”, adding, “Periods of possible detention under state laws range from six months to two years. Authorities can impose preventive detention for a range of activities in different states, including boot-legging, land-grabbing and even video piracy.”
“The procedures and standards of proof of the ordinary criminal justice process are meant to minimize the risk of innocent individuals being punished. But India’s administrative detention laws function as a parallel system, and are used to detain individuals for long periods instead of charging and prosecuting them in a court of law,” adds Abhirr VP, adding, “Not prosecuting persons suspected of offences also violates the victims’ rights to justice.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”