NSA highly misused law, need to act against errant officers who invoke it: Experts on Kafeel Khan case
This year has been even more difficult for NSA detainees to get relief because of the challenges posed by the pandemic, resultant virtual hearings etc, senior advocate Rebecca John said.
NEW DELHI: The National Security Act is a (NSA) highly misused law and there should be a provision for initiating legal action against errant officers who allegedly invoke its stringent provision wrongfully, legal experts said in the aftermath of the Allahabad HC’s immediate release order of Dr Kafeel Khan.
“I know its (NSA) constitutionality was upheld by the Supreme Court but this law has immense potential of being misused. You can hold people for up to one year without trial,” senior advocate Rebecca John said.
“90% of the times the cases under this section don’t stand judicial scrutiny but it doesn’t matter because it takes so long for these matters to be heard that the mischief of the law and the mischief of its usage is fulfilled.”
This year has been even more difficult for NSA detainees to get relief because of the challenges posed by the pandemic, resultant virtual hearings etc, she said.
“The process (to get relief) itself becomes a punishment and this is what the state banks upon.”
Former Home Secretary GK Pillai called for the courts to step up and order action against errant officers for misuse of the law.
“The misuse can only be stopped if the courts come down hard on those who misuse this.”
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves said a “wrong” order has led to huge injustice.
“The Supreme Court set a wrong example in a case where it held that even if the prosecution presents material that is legally inadmissible as evidence during the trial, the courts can refuse bail on the basis of that material. That is an illogical and wrong order that is causing huge injustice in the country.”