Rajya Sabha passes UAPA Bill, gives govt power to declare any individual as a terrorist

New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha on Friday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA) Bill after days of impasse between the government and opposition parties over the contentious legislation.

The Rajya Sabha denied a motion moved by opposition parties to send the bill to a select committee of Parliament for further scrutiny. Out of the total members who voted, 147 MPs were in favour of passing the new changes to the anti-terror bill while 42 voted against it.

It gives government power to declare any individual as a terrorist: One of the controversial parts among the amendments is that it will give the government power to declare any individual as a terrorist.

Before the Rajya Sabha took up the matter for voting in today’s session, Union Home Minister Amit Shah replied to concerns Opposition had raised with regards to the bill. Shah said that the sole purpose of the UAPA Bill is to fight terror and it has no other ulterior motive.

“This (UAPA) Act is to fight terror and has no other purpose,” he said. The home minister also said that it is necessary to identify terrorists individually and not just terror organisations.

Shah says it is necessary to name terrorists individually as new terror organisations keep coming up: Replying to a point raised by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, Amit Shah said it is necessary to name terrorists individually as new terror organisations keep coming up after one is banned.

“Chidambaram ji asked why to name an individual as a terrorist when the organisation they are affiliated to is already banned. It is because we ban one organisation, another one comes up by the same individuals. Till when will we keep banning organisations?” he asked.