Centre has no plan to amend the UAPA law, says junior Home Minister Nityanand Rai.
New Delhi: Over 50% of the total people arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) are below the age of 30, according to the Ministry of Home Affairs’s data given to Lok Sabha earlier this week.
The Ministry in its written reply to the Lok Sabha said that between 2018 to 2020 around 2500 people who were arrested under the UAPA were below the age of 30; the highest being that from Uttar Pradesh. In 2018, 340 persons, in 2019, 386 persons and in 2020, 205 people under the age of 30 were booked under the UAPA in Uttar Pradesh alone.
Uttar Pradesh is followed by Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu where most of the persons below the age of 30 have been booked under the UAPA between 2018 and 2020. However, a total of 4,690 people have so far been arrested under the UAPA law by various law enforcement agencies across various states in the country, between 2018 and 2020. The highest number of UAPA cases was registered in 2019 when about 1948 people were arrested under this law from various states. This saw a dip in 2020 when about 1321 people were arrested under the UAPA law.
Some of the states like Goa, Manipur, Mizoram, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Haryana, and Gujarat have recorded zero or just one person being arrested under the UAPA law.
However, despite the large number of arrests under the UAPA, conviction rate is very poor under this law. Against the 1321 people arrested under UAPA in 2020, only 80 people have been convicted, while 116 people have been acquitted in the cases in the same year.
The conviction rate remained poor in 2018 as well as in 2019. According to the Home Ministry data against 1948 cases of UAPA in 2019 only 34 persons have been convicted so far while 92 persons have been acquitted. 625 people arrested under the UAPA law in 2019 are on bail.
Many MPs have been raising questions about the misuse of the UAPA law by many state governments and its low conviction rate in the courts. However, junior Home Minister Nityanand Rai told the Parliament earlier this week that the Central government has no plans to amend the UAPA law. The UAPA law was amended in 2019 by the Parliament to give more teeth to the law that was brought in to book and arrest people who would involve in terrorist acts or in activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.