Amid anti-CAA protests, Delhi L-G extends police's detention powers under NSA; law allows cops to hold a person for 12 months sans trial

FP Staff

The Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Anil Baijal has extended the Delhi Police's detention powers under the National Security Act, 1980, for a three-month period between 19 January and 18 April, The Leaflet reported. As per The Leaflet, this is a routine order passed by the LG of Delhi after every four months.

The notification, issued on 10 January 2020, to the Home Department,  stated that the LG of the National Capital Territory of Delhi directed that the Delhi police commissioner may exercise the powers of detaining authority under the NSA, for three months.

This development comes amid the National Capital being roiled by two major anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests: one at Shaheen Bagh and another at Jamia Millia Islamia and agitations near Jamia Masjid. The NSA is a legislation €" critics decry it as draconian €" that allows preventive detention of people whose actions may be in one way or another prejudicial to the security of the State for up to 12 months.

As per a report in India Today, the person detained need not be charged during this period of detention. The goal is to prevent an individual from committing a crime. A person detained under the NSA can be held for 10 days without being told the charges against them. The detained person can appeal before a high court advisory board but they are not allowed a lawyer during the trial, as per the India Today report.

A similar order was issued in Andhra Pradesh on 14 January.

Previous use of NSA

Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who was released by authorities last night, was previously detained under the  NSA from 2 November, 2017 to 14 September, 2018.

In January 2019, the Bulandshahr district administration invoked the NSA against three people arrested in connection with the alleged cow slaughtering incident in Siyana tehsil in December 2018. Cattle carcasses were found strewn in the fields outside village Mahaw in Siyana on 3 December, 2018, after which a mob went on a rampage, attacking the local Chingrawathi police post. A police inspector was killed in the incident.

In December 2018, Firstpost reported that Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem, a 39-year-old TV news and current affairs anchor, was slapped with the NSA and punished with detention for 12 months.

With inputs from PTI


Also See: Jamia Millia Islamia to move against Delhi Police in court, seeks registration of FIR for 15 December violence in varsity

Arundhati Roy visits Jamia to express solidarity with students protesting CAA and NRC, says 'maybe one day govt will be in detention centre'

Uttar Pradesh court grants bail to activist Sadaf Jafar, others arrested for anti-CAA protests in Lucknow on 19 December

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