Pointing out that the “exact frontiers” of terrorism are still unknown, Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday said law should be dynamic to meet the growing challenge posed by terror networks and outfits across the world.
“It is a scenario of worrying future because terrorism attacks democratic institutions, human rights and innocent people. Vigilance by jurists and dynamism by lawmakers should be wedded in the process of law-making to deal with the menace.”
Mr. Moily was speaking at a conference on the “Constitution and Anti-Terror Laws,” organised jointly here by the Rashtriya Jagriti Sansthan, South Asia Politics and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, a German organisation.
Describing terrorism as “an undeclared war” on humanity, Mr. Moily said ordinary law and encounters were not the answer to delay in delivery of justice.
Referring to the constitutional protection vis-a-vis anti-terror laws, the Minister said encounter was not an answer, though some thought it was due to the delays in the criminal justice system.
“Unless the criminal justice system is totally overhauled, which we would like to do in the future, it is necessary to build not only capacity of law enforcers, but also the judiciary. There has to be an all-out war on the root, trunk and branches of terrorism.”
Setting up of NIA
Realising the need for a federal agency to probe terror-related crimes, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was created recently. “Looking into the inter-State and international nature of terrorism, the need was felt to create the NIA and it is important to have a federal law, which is quite possible. I have recommended it in the Administrative Reforms Commission [ARC] report,” Mr. Moily said.
Terrorist acts were aimed at destabilising nations and citizens. “It is an attack on our institutions of democracy, symbols of national pride, security and strategic infrastructure and on civilians. Terrorism is a reminder for the global community to stop the rhetoric and perform to effectively fight the menace.”
The Minister said terrorism posed a new challenge to law enforcers and lawmakers alike, and new approaches, techniques, weapons, expertise and laws were required to fight it. “The lawmakers and enforcers need to change their mindset and will have to attune themselves to these new challenges posed by terror.”
He said social imbalances on the economic front needed to be addressed through governance to eradicate terrorism. “It is a daunting task, nevertheless achievable.”