Supreme Court Refuses Blanket Ban on NSA Imposition, Cites Arson During Anti-CAA Protests

News18.com

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea challenging the imposition of the National Security Act (NSA) in few states and the national capital amid anti-CAA protests.

A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee said that it cannot pass a blanket order with regard to the imposition of NSA and asked lawyer ML Sharma to withdraw the plea.

The bench observed that it cannot tie down the hands of authorities when property is being burnt in the ongoing protests. "These are law and order issues. How can we interfere? " said Justice Mishra.

It asked Sharma to file a fresh petition or an interim application in pending pleas on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) giving specific details of violations of NSA.

Sharma's plea said NSA has been imposed to curb and pressure people protesting against the CAA, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC).

Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on January 10 extended detaining powers to Delhi Police under the NSA for a three-month period starting January 19.

This allows police to detain a person for 12 months without trial.

Sharma had made the Ministry of Home Affairs and the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Manipur parties to the plea.

The plea had termed the notification, allowing police to invoke NSA to detain persons, as "unconstitutional" and violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (freedom of speech and expression) and 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

"The cause of actions arose on January 10, when respondents (states) imposed NSA Act for next three months with effect from January 19 in Delhi as well as in Andhra Pradesh by the state government to arrest and detain...for protests against a person holding office of the prime minister and ministers in the Central government...," the plea had said.

The plea had sought a direction to quash the notification.

It had also sought a direction that it be declared that the NSA cannot be used against protesters.

The plea had also sought a compensation of Rs 50,00,000 each to those who have been detained so far under the NSA for "mental agony, defamation in society and loss of reputation".

Protests are taking place at various places in the country against CAA and NPR.