The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has set up an advisory board, made up of three judges from the Delhi Supreme Court, to review the cases registered under the strict National Security Act (NSA), which extends the detention of a person for up to one year. without charge.
Such an advisory board was established under Section 9 of the 1980 Act.
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According to an official announcement, Judge Yogesh Khanna will chair the advisory council, while Judges Chandra Dhari Singh and Rajnish Bhatnagar will serve as members of the powerful body.
The NSA gives the government the power to detain a person if it deems the person a threat to national security or to prevent him or her from disrupting public order.
According to the NSA, a person can be held without charge for up to 12 months. The detainee can be detained for 10 days without being told the charges against him or her.
The detainee can only appeal to the Advisory Council for Reception, but will not be given a lawyer during the trial.
For each NSA detainee, the government concerned shall submit to the Advisory Board within three weeks of the date of detention the grounds on which the warrant was issued and any representation by the detainee.
After taking note of the documents made available to it and after hearing the detainee, the advisory council submits its report to the government within seven weeks of the date of detention of the person concerned.
The council’s report will state whether or not there are sufficient grounds for the arrest. In cases where the Advisory Board has reported that it believes there are sufficient grounds for the person’s detention, the government may ratify the detention order and continue the detention for such time as it deems appropriate.
In cases where the council has reported that there are insufficient grounds for detention, the government will withdraw the arrest warrant and the detainee will be released without delay.
A detainee may remain in prison for more than three months, but not more than six months, without having taken the advice of the Advisory Board, when the person has been detained to avoid acting in any way harmful to the defense of India.
This also applies if the person is being held to avoid interfering with government efforts to confront the terrorist, the security of India or the maintenance of law and order or stockpiling.
The NSA was established in 1980 when the government of Indira Gandhi was in power.
According to data provided by the government in parliament in 2020, nearly 1,200 people were detained across the country under the NSA in 2017 and 2018.
Madhya Pradesh held the highest number of people under the NSA of all states, followed by Uttar Pradesh.
In Madhya Pradesh, in 2017 and 2018, 795 people were detained under the NSA, 466 were released by assessment committees and 329 were detained.
In Uttar Pradesh, of the 338 people detained under the NSA in 2017 and 2018, 150 were released by assessment committees and 188 were detained.
There is no official data available on NSA detainees as of 2019.
This post Government establishes three-member advisory board of sitting HC judges to review NSA cases was original published at “https://www.zeebiz.com/india/news-government-constitutes-3-member-advisory-board-of-sitting-hc-judges-to-review-nsa-cases-181175”