RISHABH
NATION'S CAPITAL UNDER NATIONAL SECURITY ACT
RISHABH SACHDEVA 20 Jan 2020

NATION'S CAPITAL UNDER NATIONAL SECURITY ACT

Delhi's Lieutenant Governor on 13 January passed a three-month order authorizing Commisioner Of Police to place the city under the National Security Act (NSA) for three months between 19 January and 18 April in the wake of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Under the National Security Act a person may be detained for up to 12 months without any charge. Furthermore, the person is not allowed to be told about the charges for 10 days.  The detained person may appeal to a high court advisory board but during the trial, a lawyer is not permitted.

Although the Union home ministry has downplayed the situation, a senior official in the central government said it was “a routine affair and the notification was renewed from time to time”. There is nothing new in this. Such an order is issued once in every three months that gives power to the police chief to detain under the NSA,” a senior police officer said. Another police officer told The Print, “Under the Act, the police chief or the district magistrate has this power. This has always been there, though it is rarely exercised.”

Often, if authorities are convinced that he / she is a threat to national security or law and order, the person can be held under preventive detention for months. It is important to notify the state government concerned that a person has been detained under the NSA. A similar order was issued on 14 January, in Andhra Pradesh.  The NSA had been extended to Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 after the revocation of Article 370 and the bifurcation of the former state, allowing armed forces to detain an individual in the valley on grounds of threat to national security.

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