Monday, 24 January 2022

Security Laws- which lapsed

 In this article, we shall focus on the shields of our country from the internal and external disturbance which were lapsed and not currently in working. 

A series of laws were introduced whose main objective was to safeguard national security and national interest. But majority of these laws are given many unchecked and unregulated powers due to which the rights of the citizens got negatively effected. 

The fact is clear that for any country it is necessary to maintain its security and public order as well. That’s why these laws are called as exception laws or ‘necessary evil’. 

Preventive Detention Act, 1950-1969

Before independence, British used the measure of preventive detention to establish strong control over India. 

                 After independence, due to partition, India was facing lot of problems like communal violence, large scale displacement and internal disturbance. 

So, to secure India’s territory, Constitution and the rights of its citizens, preventive detention laws were made. 

In parliament, Home Minister Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel introducing the Preventive Detention Bill, he said “I have sepnt many sleeplessness nights thinking about this bill.”

This act continued for 19 years, from 1950 to 1969. This act was a law that authorises government to detain individuals without any charge for one year. 

It was a temporary law which was made to sort out the problems which were created due to partition as its main purpose or objective. These types of laws always brought up with a “sunset clause” which says that after achieving the objective, that particular law will lapse automatically. 

Maintenance of International Security Act, 1971-1977

In this act, most of the powers from Preventive Detention Act were embedded. 

The main motive of this act is to increase the detention power as much as possible and to decrease the safeguards of detainees as much as possible. 

In 1975, “internal emergency”, hundreds of people were put behind the bars without trial rights and safeguards. Those people who were coming face-to-face with the government whether they were opposition leaders or civil society groups, MISA was MISUSED heavily on them. 

Finally, in 1977, National Emergency, MISA & Indira Gandhi’s Government in General Elections of 1977 were provoked, lapsed and tuned off. 

Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act, 1985- 1995 (TADA)

The law established had to control separatist activities in Punjab. This act overrides CrPC and Constitution very strongly. 

Under this act, many new offences were made, increment in police powers and reduced and safeguards of police. 

Even if, any confusion made infront of police officer would be admissible in the court which led to the increment in the cases of police torture and violence. 

Due to various oppositions to this act, finally in 1995 by using its “sunset clause” this act has been lapsed. 

Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2001-2004 (POTA)

Under this act, any suspect can be detained for total six months. Surprisingly, TADA and POTA had same objectives like excessive forces and powers of police, reduced safeguards of detainees, confession made to be admissible etc. means every flaw and problem of TADA were present in POTA. 

Along with these, some more allegations were put that some political leaders were fulfilling their ‘vendelta’ by this act. 

So, in 2004, through its sunset clause, POTA has been lapsed. 


By their repeal, we can conclude that these laws came with a different objective- a good one but due to course of time, they became revenge weapon for the authorities and magneted flaws, lacunas and hence, spreading the tyranny among the citizens and also giving bad image of the country in the international room.

So, these laws should not be of that kind which only fulfilling objective and purpose and must not move any inch exceeding abridging citizen’s freedom and dignity.  

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