The Uttar Pradesh government is planning to charge individuals, who attack policeman enforcing the lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus, under the stringent National Security Act, 1980.
The move is aimed to deter those who are taking lockdown lightly and even attacking policemen when they are prevented.
The National Security Act of 1980 is an act of the Indian Parliament promulgated on 23 September, 1980 whose purpose is to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith. The act extends to the whole of India. It Contains 18 sections.
This act empowers the Central Government and State Governments to detain a person to prevent him/her from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of India, the relations of India with foreign countries, the maintenance of public order, or the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do.
The act also gives power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to regulate his presence or expel from the country.
The maximum period of detention is 12 months. The order can also be made by the District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police under their respective jurisdictions, but the detention should be reported to the State Government along with the grounds on which the order has been made.
Under the NSA, a person could be kept in the dark about the reasons for his arrest for up to five days, and in exceptional circumstances upto ten days.
Even when providing the grounds for arrest, the government can withhold information which it considers to be against public interest to disclose.
Under the NSA, the arrested person is not entitled to the aid of any legal practitioner in any matter connected with the proceedings before an advisory board, which is constituted by the government for dealing with NSA cases.
No such order shall remain in force for more than twelve days unless approved by the State Government. The National Security Act may also be invoked if a person assaults a policeman on duty.