Ground Report | New Delhi: UAPA cases in J&K; During the year 2020, 287 cases were registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that Jammu and Kashmir topped the chart in terms of cases registered under the UA(P) Act last year, with 36 of the total cases registered in the Union Territory alone.
UAPA cases in J&K
The data shows that out of 796 cases registered under stringent law in various states and union territories, 287 were registered in various police stations in J&K alone in 2020.
Manipur is followed by Jammu and Kashmir where 196 cases have been reported. Data released by the NCRB on September 14 shows that nine states and six union territories have not registered any cases under the UA(P) Act.
Of the 796 UAPA cases reported in the country in 2020, the maximum was Jammu and Kashmir (287), followed by Manipur (169), Jharkhand (86), Assam (76), and UP (72). Manipur (15) and Assam (12) had the highest number of sedition cases, followed by UP (7). Maharashtra tops the chart by registering almost one-fourth of the nationwide cases under OSA.
UAPA in 2020
For ‘crimes against the state’ 7,607 people were arrested, 956 were convicted, 54 were acquitted and 1,282 people were acquitted. A total of 6,009 people were arrested under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1,321 under UAPA (up from 1,226 in 2019), 44 for sedition, and 52 under OSA. While 80 people were convicted under the UAPA, 116 were acquitted and eight were acquitted by the courts. Three men were convicted of treason and four were acquitted. One person, each was convicted and acquitted under the OSA.
The report suggests a clear pendency rate at both the investigation and trial level which indicates that detainees continue to be jailed without charge in most cases, under stricter law, which leaves little scope for bail. . Every year, the number of cases registered is increasing and with the filing of supplementary charge sheets one after the other by the investigating agencies, the investigation takes longer time (as pointed out by the Delhi High Court) and also the trial. It takes quite a long time. It is only after years of imprisonment that only a handful of lucky accused are able to secure bail in these cases and after much effort.
The implementation of the UAPA has been widely criticized in the legal fraternity as well as in civil society and has now attracted the attention of the UN Human Rights Commissioner who has raised concerns over its increasing use.