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Supreme Court on 6th September issued notice to the Centre seeking response in a petition challenging the validity of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2019 on the ground of being violative of Articles 14, 19, and 21.

Chiej Justice Gogoi and Justice Ashok Bhushan heard Sajal Awasthi v Union of India which alleges curtailment of right to dissent, providing no opportunity to the person termed a ‘terrorist’ to argue his case before the arrest.

The petition filed through Advocate Manju Jetley, submits that conferring of such discretionary, unfettered and unbound powers upon the Central Government through Section 35 is antithesis to the fundamental rights of individuals under the Constitution.

Another petition connected in this matter, Association for Protection of Civil Rights v Union of India, filed through advocate Fauzia Shakil has also challenged the vires of the amendment on similar grounds.

Earlier this week, the Centre declared Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar, Lashkar-e-Taiba founder Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, Mumbai terror attack accused Zaki-ur-Rehman-Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim as terrorists under the upgraded anti-terror law.

— India Legal Bureau

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