Senior advocate Purushottam Poojary has called for legal recourse to question amendments brought to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act that infringe on the fundamental rights of the accused.
Mr. Poojary said the amendment gives police six months to file a charge sheet against making the person booked under the Act ineligible for bail for as many months. No person can be deprived of the right to life and liberty, he said.
Mr. Poojary said denying bail to the accused would tantamount to causing harm, which our laws do not permit. “We need to legally fight against such an amendment,” he said.
High Court advocate P.K. Ponnappa said poor and innocent people would suffer under the amended Act. “We are not supporting persons involved in terrorist acts. But we are against the way the police go about booking innocent individuals under this Act,” he said.
Advocate T.H. Aboobacker, from Madikeri, said majority of those booked under the Act had been Muslims and backward class people. Among the instances he quoted included the arrest of journalist of an English daily in Bangalore and a reporter of an English magazine. The two journalists, Mr. Abbobacker said, were denied bail for six months. There was a need for people’s movement against the draconian provisions of the Act. The programme was organised by the Social Democratic Party of India.