The national security of a nation is the core of its existence. To protect the national interest, every state has to enact counter-terrorism laws. In India, such a law was necessary after the 26/11 attack. Several instances of terrorism activities led to the enactment of various anti-terrorist legislations. The Parliament of India has time and again enacted a series of National Security and anti-terror laws such as the Preventive Detention Act (1950 to 1969, Maintenance of Internal Security Act (1972 to 1977), National Security Act (2019), Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (1958-Present), Terrorist and Disruptive Act (1985 to 1995), etc. all in the attempt to uphold the sovereignty, security, and integrity of the nation. However, the aftermath of the anti-terrorism initiative developed a ‘tendency towards normalising the extraordinary’ by institutionalising such robust anti-terrorism laws to ensure national uniformity without ‘formal derogation of the fundamental and human rights obligation set by the state. In this paper, the authors have attempted to discuss and analyse the evolution of UAPA law through the years. The laws are analysed with respect to its impact on fundamental rights and the concerning violations of the same for the purpose of maintaining national security. The paper discusses the history of this legislation with particular attention to UAPA and its 2019 amendment. The author further discusses how these amendments Increasingly violate human rights under the guise of maintaining national security.
The author argues that specific provisions of the UAPA amendment 2019 infringe fundamental rights. This paper shall analyse how this legislation’s trajectory demonstrates the rationale used to persecute freedom fighters during the British colonial regime and endures present-day India as well. It points out specific and obvious gaps like the absence of a clear and structured definition of terrorism and finally, would suggests a way forward.