Out of 120 cases, Allahabad High Court quashed 94 cases pointing to ‘non-application of mind’, reveals an investigation
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – An investigation into the usage of the National Security Act (NSA) by the Uttar Pradesh government shows that the administration of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath invoked the draconian law in 120 cases during the last two years (2018-2020) and the highest invocation of it has been done against minorities in cow slaughter cases.
The investigation, done by the Indian Express, reveals that out of 120 cases, Allahabad High Court quashed 94 cases pointing to “non-application of mind”, denial of due process and repeated use of the law to deny bail to the accused. The NSA gives the state powers to arrest the accused without charges and trial.
Out of 120 cases, the NSA has been invoked in 41 cases relating to cow slaughter in which all the accused are from the minority community.
Talking to Clarion India about the investigation, social activist S.R. Darapuri said that under the Yogi administration, the NSA is being used mostly against Muslims as well as Dalits. It is not invoked against people from general categories.
“Since Yogi Government came in the state, it (NSA) is being misused at large scale. This is being invoked in petty cases like altercation between two parties. There are some cases which I personally know. For example, an altercation happened between Muslim and non-Muslim and the altercation is normal not communal. The NSA has been invoked against the Muslim party in that case. The complaint by the Muslims is not registered,” said Darapuri, a former IPS officer who has retired from the UP government as Deputy Inspector-General.
The concept of the NSA is related to national security but it is being used for general crimes. It is a misuse of the Act in which the accused is forced to languish in jail for a long time without any charge and trial. The court also does not take cognizance quickly in such matters. Hence, they don’t get early relief, he said.
Darapuri is of the opinion that the NSA, the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act) and UP COCA (Uttar Pradesh Control of Organized Crimes Act) are being misused by governments and, therefore, they should be scrapped.
The investigation found that 70% of cow slaughter cases in which the NSA was invoked has been quashed by the high court rapping the UP administration and it ordered to release the petitioners. In the remaining cases also, the accused were released later by the courts.
Records show that in all cow-slaughter cases, the administration invoked the NSA to deny bail to the accused claiming that if the accused is freed, he would “again” indulge in “activities prejudicial to public order”.
In the cow slaughter cases in which the NSA charges were quashed, the courts pointed out “non-application of mind” by the administration, the denial of the opportunity to the accused to challenge the NSA and non-requirement of the NSA invocation against the accused. In some cases, it has been invoked against those who had no criminal antecedents.
The FIRs in cow slaughter cases show that the story in such cases are identical and the content has been copy-pasted. In nine cases of detentions, the administration said that it has been given lead by anonymous informers. Thirteen detentions were made on the basis of the FIRs which claimed slaughter was carried out in “open agriculture field”.