New anti-terror clause will be used sparingly; Azhar, Saeed to be first targets: official

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  1. Government officials have said that the proposed amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA) will be used sparingly.The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill 2019 has already been passed by the Lok Sabha.
  2. The Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,1967 providing special procedures to deal with terrorist activities and individuals and groups that foster terrorism in India.
  3. Under the Act,the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it (a)commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (b)prepares for terrorism (c) promotes terrorism or (d) is otherwise involved in terrorism.The bill additionally empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same grounds.
  4. However,the government is yet to define the rules that will govern the UAPA bill,2019.But the officials have said the process will be non judicial. It will be decided by officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) and the burden of proof will be on the government.
  5. The first step would be the proposal that has to come from the intelligence agencies.The information provided by one agency will be corroborated with another,it has to be credible.MHA will examine the proposal and once it is convinced after going through all the records, it will be cleared by the Home Minister and then notified.
  6. Once the individual has been designated as a terrorist,he or she could file an appeal before the MHA,either in person or through registered post. 
  7. Once the appeal has been filed, MHA will have to decide the case in 45 days.The individual will then have an option to appeal before an independent three-member review committee comprising sitting or retired High Court judges.The committee will be appointed by MHA.