The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2019

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 provides for putting travel ban on such individuals once they are declared as terrorists

Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1963 is an Indian law that is made to prevent unlawful activities associations in India. The main objective of it is to make powers available for dealing with activities directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India.

On July 24  the Lok sabha had passed the amendment Bill and the RajyaSabha on August 2.

The President of India Ram NathKovind approved this Bill by giving his assent to legislation under which individuals can be declared as terrorists and their properties seized according to this Bill.


The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 also provides for putting a ban on travelon such individuals once they are declared as terrorists under the schedule iv of the Act.

According to the officials, India’s most wanted, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, are likely to be the first two individuals to be designated as terrorists under the legislation.

The Amendments Act gives powers to the Director-General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to attach properties acquired from the proceeds of terrorism if the individual is arrested under this UAPA Act.

Earlier, the law required that the NIA take prior permission from the respective state police chief of the area the crime committed to attaching the proceeds of terrorism but later on the amendment of the NIA Act this provision has been lifted and made into no permission is required if the case id sensitive and critical as this delays the process as often as such properties are in different lands.

Previously, officers in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and above were empowered to investigate cases under the UAPA. Now, officers in the rank of Inspector are also empowered to do so.

The inspector-rank officers have sufficient potential to investigate UAPA-related cases and this move would fasten the delivery of justice in such cases, which are reviewed by senior officers at various levels.


After POTA was withdrawn by the Parliament this last Amendment was enacted. However, in the Amendment Act in 2004, most of the provisions of POTA were embodied. After the Mumbai Attack (2008), it was further built up. This Bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 to make it more competent in preventing unlawful activities, and meet commitments made at the Financial Action Task Force. The object of this bill was to make powers available for dealing with activities effectively directed against the integrity and sovereignty of India. The bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and received the approval of the President on 30 December 1967. The Amending Acts are as follows:

1. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 1967

2.  The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1972

3. The Delegated Legislation Provisions (Amendment) Act, 1986

4. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004

5. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008

6. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2012

7. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019


As per the new rules encrypted under this Bill, Section 2 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.1963 explains the definition of Court used under this Act is a criminal court having jurisdiction, according to the Code, to try offenses under this Act and includes a Special Court constituted under section 11 or under section 22 of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.

[Section 11 and 22 of the NIA Act, 2008 says about Power of Central Government to constitute Special Courts and  Power of State Government to constitute Special Courts.]

Section 25of the Principal Act speaks about Powers of investigating officer, Designated Authority and appeal against the order of Designated Authority. Which has been amended by the new Prevention Bill and looks like “If an officer investigating an offence committed under Chapter IV or Chapter VI, has reason to believe that any property in relation to which an investigation is being conducted, represents proceeds of terrorism, he shall, with the prior approval in writing of the Director-General of the Police of the State ,in which where such property is situated, or where the investigation is conducted by an officer of the National Investigation Agency, with the prior approval of the Director-General of National Investigation Agency, make an order,seizing such property and where it is not practicable to seize such property, make an order of attachment directing that such property shall not be transferred or otherwise dealt with except with the prior permission of the officer making such order, or of the Designated Authority before whom the property seized or attached is produced and a copy of such order shall be served on the person concerned.”


The Central Government has the power that it may by amending a schedule release a notification in the official Gazzate and adds an Organisation to the First Schedule. Also, It can only exercise its power in respect of an organization or an individual only if it believes that such an organisation or individual is involved in terrorism. (Section 35)

To satisfy the purposes laid down under Section 35 (2), there are certain conditions to be followed as explained under sub-section 3, such as the words “an organization or an individual shall be deemed to be involved in terrorism if such organization or individual to be involved in any of such activities — (a) commits or participates in acts of terrorism, or (b) prepares for terrorism, or (c) promotes or encourages terrorism (d) is otherwise involved in terrorism.

To make the procedure of Denotification of a terrorist organization Section 36 of the Principal Act says, an application is required to be made to the Central Government for the exercise of its power to remove an organization from the First Schedule, or as the case may be, the name of an individual from the Fourth Schedule. And the Applications should be made by the Organisation or any person affected by the inclusion of his name in the Fourth Schedule as a terrorist or by the inclusion of the organization in the Schedule as a terrorist organization.

Where an application gets rejected, the applicant may apply for a review to the Review Committee constituted by the Central Government within one month from the date of receipt of the order of such refusal by the applicant. If it considers that the decision to reject was flawed when considered in the light of the principles applicable on an application for judicial review, the Review Committee may allow an application for review against rejection to remove “an organization from the First Schedule or the name of an individual from the Fourth Schedule”. Where the Review Committee allows review by or in respect of an organization or an individual, it may make an order to such effect.


An Act to provide for the more effective prevention of certain unlawful activities of individuals and associations [and for dealing with terrorist activities,] and for matters connected therewith this Prevention Act has been made by the Indian Government.

Any Indian or foreign national charged under UAPA is liable for punishment under this Act, irrespective of the location of crime/offense committed. 3. UAPA will be applicable to the offenders in the same manner, even if the crime is committed on foreign land, outside India.

“The views of the authors are personal

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the First Schedule of the Act?

Sections 2(1)(m) and 35 of the Principal Act of 1963 speak about the organizations that should be involved in the First Schedule as a Terrorist organization.


What is the Fourth Schedule?

After the Third Schedule to the principal Act, the following Schedule is being added by the amendment of 2019. Section 35(1) and 36 speaks about the Fourth schedule added to the Principal Act. As in section 35 and 36 along with the name of Organisation the case of Individuals are also involved as per the new amendment system and their addition and removal procedures are also mentioned.

What is POTA?

The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) was an Act passed by the Parliament of India in 2002, with the objective of strengthening anti-terrorism operations. The Act was enacted due to several terrorist attacks that were being carried out in India and especially in response to the attack on the Parliament.

Tulsi Rajeswari Sahoo
Tulsi Rajeswari Sahoo, BA.LLB Graduate in 2018 fro Utkal University Law College, Odisha. Former Compliance Associate manager at Eminent India Pvt.Ltd,New Delhi. Possessing Keen Interest in Legal Writing and Drafting