What is the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)?

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What is the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA)? Blog Image


The Supreme Court of India recently ruled that mere membership in an unlawful association is sufficient to constitute an offense under the stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967.

About Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA):

  • The UAPA was enacted in 1967.
  • It lays down the definitions and rules for designating an organization as an "unlawful association" if it is engaged in certain types of activities.
  • ‘Unlawful activity’ is defined as any action taken by an individual or association – through an act, words, spoken or written, or by signs or visible representation – which is intended to, or supports a claim to, bring about the cession of a part of the territory of India, or the secession of a part of the territory of India from the Union, or which incites any individual or group of individuals to bring about such cession or secession.
  • It covers activities which disclaim, question, disrupt or are intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India, and which cause or intend to cause disaffection against India.
  • In 2004, the UAPA was amended, and 'terrorist activities' were brought within its fold, under which 34 outfits, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, were banned.
  • Under the Act, the central government may designate an organization as a terrorist organization if it:
    • commits or participates in acts of terrorism;
    • prepares for terrorism;
    • promotes terrorism;
    • is otherwise involved in terrorism;
  • The 2019 Amendment gave the Home Ministry the power to designate individuals as terrorists.
  • The Act extends to the whole of India.
  • It also applies to citizens of India who are abroad, persons in service of the Indian government, and persons on ships and aircraft registered in India.


Q1) What is the punishment under UAPA?

The UAPA punishes anyone who takes part in unlawful activities, or who assists in committing such unlawful activities. If you carry out any unlawful activity, you can be punished with imprisonment for up to seven years, and a fine.For Terrorist Activities that results in death, punishment is life imprisonment, and a fine.For other Terrorist Activities punishment is jail time between 5 years and life imprisonment along with a fine.

Source: ‘Mere membership of unlawful outfit is UAPA offence’: SC reverses past orders