No central record of anti-national cases, no such word in statute: Government
Owaisi also asked whether the Supreme Court had prescribed any guidelines to deal with crimes relating to ‘anti-national’ activity.
NEW DELHI: The word ‘anti-national’ finds no mention in the Constitution. However, it was once inserted in the Constitution during Emergency in 1976 and later removed, Union Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai informed Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Rai was responding to a question by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, who asked whether the government had defined the meaning of ‘anti-national’ under any legislation or 11 rules or any other legal enactment enforced in the country.
Owaisi also asked whether the Supreme Court had prescribed any guidelines to deal with crimes relating to ‘anti-national’ activity. In a written reply, the Deputy Home Minister said: “The word ‘anti-national’ has not been defined in statutes. However, there are criminal legislations and various judicial pronouncements to sternly deal with unlawful and subversive activities which are detrimental to the unity and integrity of the country.”
In his response, the minister of state for home said it was relevant to mention that the Constitution (42nd Amendment) Act, 1976 inserted in the Constitution Article 31D (during Emergency) which defined ‘anti-national activity’ and this Article 31D was subsequently, omitted by the Constitution (43rd Amendment) Act, 1977.
Owaisi also sought details of the number of people arrested for indulging in ‘anti national’ activities in the last three years. Rai said the statistics about the number of people arrested for indulging in anti-national activities was not maintained centrally. He said the responsibility of maintaining law and order rested primarily with the respective state government.
“The responsibility of maintaining law and order, including investigation, registration and prosecution rests primarily with the respective state governments,” the minister said.