Explained: What is National Security Act?
New Delhi, Jan 19: In the wake of against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Lieutenant governor of Delhi passed the order authorising police to place the city under the National Security Act (NSA) for three months, which will come into power from today.
The ' will get emergency detention power with effect from January 19, 2020 till April 18, 2020.
Under the National Security Act, an individual can be detained without a charge for up to 12 months. The individual also need not be informed of the charges for 10 days.
So, what is National Security Act?
The National Security Act of 1980 is an act promulgated on 23 September, 1980 by the Indira Gandhi government whose purpose is 'to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith.
The act extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. It contains 18 sections.
This act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.
The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country. The act was passed in 1980 during the Indira Gandhi Government.
The maximum period of detention is 12 months. The order can also be made by the District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police under their respective jurisdictions, but the detention should be reported to the State Government along with the grounds on which the order has been made.
No such order shall remain in force for more than twelve days unless approved by the State Government. The National Security Act may also be invoked if a person assaults a policeman on duty.
How it is different from regular detention?
In the normal course, if a person is arrested, he or she is guaranteed certain basic rights. These include the right to be informed of the reason for the arrest and has the right to bail under Section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Sections 56 and 76 of the CrPC also provide that a person has to be produced before a court within 24 hours of arrest.
But none of these rights are available to a person detained under the NSA.
A person could be kept in the dark about the reasons for his/her arrest for up to five days, and in exceptional circumstances, not later than 10 days.
Even when providing the grounds for arrest, the government can withhold information which it considers to be against public interest to disclose. The arrested person is also not entitled to the aid of any lawyer in any matter connected with the proceedings before an advisory board, which is constituted by the government for dealing with NSA cases.