Phrase ‘anti-national’ not defined in statutes: MHA

MoS Nityanand Rai was responding to question by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi

Updated - December 21, 2021 07:07 pm IST

Published - December 21, 2021 06:09 pm IST - New Delhi

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said this in response to a question by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi on whether the Government had defined the meaning of ‘anti national’ under any legislation.

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said this in response to a question by AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi on whether the Government had defined the meaning of ‘anti national’ under any legislation.

Phrase ‘anti-national’ has not been defined in statutes, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) informed the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai said this in response to a question by All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen member Asaduddin Owaisi on whether the government had defined the meaning of ‘anti-national’ under any legislation or 11 rules or any other legal enactment that is enforced in the country.

The reply noted that “anti-national activity” was, however, inserted through a constitutional amendment during the Emergency days but was omitted later.

“However, there are criminal legislations and various judicial pronouncements to sternly deal with unlawful and subversive activities which are detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country. In this regard, it is relevant to mention that the Constitution (Forty–Second Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted in the Constitution Article 31D (during Emergency) which defined “anti-national activity” and this Article 31D was, subsequently, omitted by the Constitution (Forty-third Amendment) Act, 1977,” it stated.

Supreme Court guidelines

The member also asked about the details of the Supreme Court guidelines to deal with crimes relating to ‘anti-national’ activity and the number of people arrested for indulging in such activities during the last three years.

The reply said that ‘Public Order’ and ‘Police’ were State subjects as per the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and the “data about number of people arrested for indulging in anti-national activities is not maintained centrally.”

The responsibility of maintaining law and order, including investigation, registration and prosecution of crimes, protection of life and property, rested primarily with the respective State government, it pointed out.

In 2019, when the National Crime Records Bureau released the annual Crime in India report for year 2017, it included for the first time a new chapter on “Crime Committed by Anti National Elements.”

The chapter listed - “North East insurgents, Left Wing Extremists and Terrorists (including Jihadi terrorists)” as the three anti-national elements.

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