In a severe crackdown on terrorism, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Amendment (UAPA) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha with 147-42 vote margin after a fiery debate on the floor of the parliamentary house. While Congress MPs P Chidambaram and Digvijay Singh presented the concerns felt by the Opposition on the Amendment, Home Minister Amit Shah made the following points in his rebuttal in the Rajya Sabha:
"What is the need to declare a person terrorist? Terrorism cases are serious, sometimes the international issues are included. Using the NIA bill now we can declare some institutions can be declared terrorist organizations. I believe that an organisation is not made up of one individual. He can go and join another organization and continue to spread terror. I wish to say that individuals spread terror not just organisations. Till they are not declared terrorists, it is impossible to put a check on terrorism."
"The history of misuse of the law by Congress is so vast that I will keep speaking till August 7 but the instances will not be over. During Emergency, they had put a blanket ban on media and locked up all politicians in jail, killing democracy. You had misused laws to remain in power and you point fingers at us?"
"In all three matters, for political vendetta, there were attempts to link a religious institution to a terrorist organisation. In Samjhauta Express, they had released the actual convicts and made a fake case against a religious organisation. The charge sheet was created in your tenure. Same is the case in the Mecca Masjid case."
"Nobody's human rights will be infringed in this Bill. If a person does terrorist activities, does plans to commit terrorist acts, aids in terrorism or is linked to any terrorist organization then he will be declared as a terrorist. I have only made the ammendment. I have not created the law. We have always stood for the law when it was introduced by your side in 2004, 2008, 2013 and now."
"If we pass this law just as decisively like the Lok Sabha, then there will be a goodwill message shared to the world. It will also instill fear for NIA among terrorists all over the world. The fact that the house is united against terror will be helpful to the nation."
According to PRS, the bill amends the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 providing special procedures to deal with terrorist activities as follow: