ARTICLE 22 & UAPA (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 - Polity)

News-CRUX-10     16th May 2024        

Context: Recently, the Supreme Court ordered the release of Newsclick founder-editor, invalidating his arrest in a terror case due to the Delhi Police's failure to inform him of the grounds for his arrest beforehand.

Article 22 of the Indian Constitution

  • About: No person who is arrested shall be detained without being informed of the grounds for such arrest.
  • Right to Legal Representation: Every arrested person has the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice.
  • Mandatory Production Before Magistrate: Anyone arrested and detained must be brought before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours, excluding travel time.
  • Objective: It deals with the protection against arrest and detention in certain cases. This article is applicable to both citizens and non-citizens.
  • Article 22(1): No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.
  • D.K. Basu Judgment: In 1997, the landmark judgment of D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal established crucial guidelines aimed at preventing custodial torture and deaths.
  • Upholding Fundamental Rights:The Supreme Court established stringent guidelines for handling custodial violence and deaths, mandating their adherence in all arrest and detention cases until appropriate legal safeguards are enacted.

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA)

  • Passed: in 1967.
  • Aims: To effective prevention of unlawful activities and associations in India.
  • The Act grants complete authority to the central government. 

o If the Centre perceives an activity as illegal, it can proclaim it as such through an Official Gazette.

  • Applicability: Under the act, both Indian and foreign nationals can be charged.
  • Punishment: The act has the death penalty and life imprisonment as the highest punishments.
  • Duration of punishment: Under section 43D, police are empowered to detain the accused in police custody for 30 days and in judicial custody for a period of 180 days without the charge sheet.
  • Recent Amendment: Under the Act, the central government may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it: (i) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, (ii) prepares for terrorism, (iii) promotes terrorism, or (iv) is otherwise involved in terrorism. 
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