Prelims level : Governance- Security Mains level : GS-III- Challenges to internal security through communication networks, role of media and social networking sites in internal security challenges, basics of cyber security; money-laundering and its prevention.
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  • Maulana Masood Azhar, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim, who are on India’s most-wanted list, became the first individuals to be declared terrorists invoking the new Amendments to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act Passed by Parliament recently.

Designation of Terrorist:

  • Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Azhar figures as the first name in list in Fourth Schedule of UAPA followed by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Saeed, LeT chief commander Lakhvi and underworld don Dawood.
  • All of them have already been designated global terrorists by the United Nations earlier for their involvement in terrorist acts and have red corner notices issued against them by the Interpol.

UAPA new Amendment Provision:

  • According to the amendment, individuals could also be declared as terrorists. Earlier, only groups or organisations could be declared as terrorists.
  • The notification was issued based on clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 35 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act which empowers the Central government to notify the name of an individual in the fourth schedule to the Act, if it believes that the individual is involved in terrorism.
  • The new Amendment seek “to introduce fourth schedule to add or remove the name of individual terrorists.
  • This will allow the Central government to designate individual terrorist and bring in embargo on arms/assets seizures.
  • The individual however can appeal against the inclusion of his/her name and seek a hearing before the review committee, constituted by the Central government under UAPA.

United Nations:

  • Azhar has been designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 on May 1 this year.
  • Dawood is also designated as a global terrorist by the United Nations under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1267 and listed in Al-Qaeda sanction list on November 3, 2003.

Issues already with Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA):

  • It casts such a wide net of offences that it makes all kinds of legitimate, constitutionally protected activity an offence: the police can choose who they want to prosecute, when and for what reason.
  • It allows for persons to be held in custody for six months before they get to know the case against them.
  • Bail is so stringent as to be almost unavailable, this is an affront to the ‘dignity’ and the ‘presumption of innocence’ that our Constitution entitles all of us to.
  • It reverses the presumption of innocence and presumes guilt, a guarantee of wrongful imprisonment and false convictions.
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