This research paper depends on the law under which India has confronted a great amount of brutality and infringement of laws. It is known as a draconian law which is National Security Act, 1980 based on preventive detention. This research paper also enlightens the power given to the government under this Act and also some recent invocations in which NSA, 1980 has been using brutally and triggered for the slightest reasons. NSA, 1980 today should be known to everyone in light of the fact that this law consists of many harsh conditions for an instance, an individual can be barred behind the jail on no charge and that too for any time-frame, according to the circumspection of the authorities under this arrangement.

Q. According to Section 3(2) of National Security Act, 1980 – “The Central Government or the State Government may if satisfied with respect to any person that with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of Public order or from acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community it is necessary so to do, make an order directing that such person be detained.”

Draft the following Issues-

  • Discuss the powers given to the government under this Act.
  • “Detention under national security act: A way to safeguard the dignity of the country or a way to curb the voice raising against the government”- critically analyze the statement.

1. Discuss the powers given to the government under this Act.


To keep any individual from acting in any way prejudicial to national security there are certain powers given to the government which are interpreted in the National Security Act, 1980[1].

Power to make orders detaining certain persons[2]: This power entitles the Central Government and State Governments to detain an individual to prevent him/her from acting in any way prejudicial towards the security of India, the relations of India with outside nations, the upkeep of public order, or towards the maintenance of supply and services vital for the community it is important so to do. The act also grants power to the governments to detain a foreigner in a view to control his essence or remove him from the country.

Power to regulate places and conditions of detention[3]: With this power the government may, by broad or exceptional request, determine; to be removed from one location of detainment to another location of detainment, regardless of whether inside a similar State or in another State, by request of the proper Government.

Powers concerning absconding persons[4]: This power empowers the Central Government, the State Government or a concerned officer having a reason to believe that an individual regarding whom a detainment request has been made has slipped off or is hiding so that the order can’t be executed, that Government or official may make a report recorded as a hard copy of the reality to a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class having jurisdiction can direct the said individual to show up before such official, at such spot and inside such period as might be determined in the request. If any person fails to comply with an order, he should be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with a fine, or with both.

The act also gives the power to the state government to approve the detention period which has a maximum limit of 12 months. A person could be held without telling him the reasons for his/her arrest for up to 10 days, even after providing the grounds for arrest, the government can retain information which it considers to be against the public interest to unveil. The arrested individual won’t be entitled to any legal aid of any lawyer in any matter associated with the procedures before an advisory board, which is constituted by the government for managing NSA cases.

2.         “Detention under national security act: A way to safeguard the dignity of the country or a way to curb the voice raising against the government”-


Historical Background:

Former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi introduced the controversial Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in 1971, which was similar to the Rowlatt Act and was extremely misused during the time of emergency. It was repealed in 1977, and in the end, the National Security Act (NSA) 1980 was enacted on 23 September 1980 as, “An Act to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and matters connected therewith”. The National Security Act (NSA) is an act that entitles the government authority to keep an individual if the authorities are satisfied that he/she is a danger to public safety or to prevent him/her from upsetting public order. The NSA was amended in 1984, 1985, and 1988 to affiliate with some of the government’s powers. In August 2019, the Act was stretched out to the province of Jammu and Kashmir following the nullification of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, offering forces to the military nearby to detain an individual on the ground of threat to national security. In today’s world cast and communal violence have become exceptionally normal. For which, National Security Act is the most favorable act.

Rights of the detainee denied by this act:

As per the interpretations of the National Security Act, 1980, section 3 explains preventive detention, which is completely understood and which is justified by the act. But, according to the act a person can be detained for up to 12 months[5]. A person can be detained for 10 days without being told the charges against them[6], while as per section 50 of the Criminal Procedure Code[7] the authorities should inform the person about the charges on him. Article 22(1) of the Constitution says an arrested person cannot be denied the right to consult and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice[8]. However, according to the National Security Act, the person detained can appeal before a high court advisory board but will not be permitted to hire a lawyer during the trial. Besides, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which gathers information about crimes in India, excludes cases under the NSA as no FIRs are enlisted. National security being a central principle in India’s constitution, the Constitution of India under Article 21[9] ensures a life accompanied with dignity to every person, which is a fundamental right that is unalterable.

Recent Invocation of the act:


The National Security Act was invoked lately by the distinctive state governments when a few occurrences of getting out of hand, misuse, and attack against doctors, paramedical staff, and police officers were accounted for in certain parts of the country. Health care workers were assaulted with stones in Indore as they were doing their obligations of screening patients, the Indore administration invoked the National Security Act against four of the alleged offenders. Four police officers were harmed when a gathering of individuals supposedly assaulted them with stones after being approached not to accumulate for Friday prayers at a mosque in Hubli, north Karnataka. In one more occurrence at Muzaffar Nagar, police patrolling group attempting to implement the progressing lockdown was assaulted by residents leaving a sub-inspector and a constable genuinely harmed. Further, the Uttar Pradesh government followed by the Madhya Pradesh government has opted to invoke the National Security Act, 1980 considering the few occurrences of assaults on clinical and police faculty serving individuals amid the worldwide pandemic. The occurrences of Indore or UP are not the only cases.

The recent invocations of the law may have their advantages and disadvantages, yet are supported for the here and now outline. As coordinated attacks on medical groups and police, avoidance of isolate and vulgar conduct with the medical caretakers and paramedics can be understood as an immediate danger to the upkeep of supplies and essential services. The nation is confronting an unexpected circumstance, and it will cost the public authority enormous endeavors, time, and money to contain the spread of Covid and treat the infected. Furthermore, it is through the medical and police workforce, the isolating and lockdowns are viably coordinated. Any endeavor to upset their endeavors, that can additionally irritate the circumstance, should be curbed with strict justifiable action, and the present invocation serves the needful. Hon’ble Apex Court in Kishori Mohan Bera vs The State of West Bengal [10](1972) 3 SCC 845 elaborated the concept of maintenance of public order stating. “The true test is not the kind, but the potentiality of the act in question. One act may affect only individuals while the other, though of a similar kind, may have such an impact that it would disturb the even tempo of the life of the community.”


  • Back in early January 2020, this act was invoked to curb the voice of dissent, On January 17, 2020, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi passed an order conferring the Commissioner of Police with the power to detain under NSA for three months, between 19 January and 18 April. The order came at a time when the national capital Delhi was witnessing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), more than 5,538 preventive detentions were made alone in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This act has been habitually misused by the executive for keeping people, using the plea of intercepting future unsettling influences of public request. This has brought about state-authorized infringement of basic freedoms.
  • In November 2018, Dr Kafeel Khan, who was arrested for allegedly delivering provocative speech during a dissent against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), has been charged under, National Security Act in UP. the Allahabad High Court as of late ordered the release of Dr. Kafeel Khan, while the government authority had detained him for more than a half year. The Court held that Khan’s speech at an anti-CAA protest had not to endeavor to destabilize the rule of law or vitiate public order.
  • Journalist Kishore Chandra Wangkhem of Manipur was detained for 12 months under the NSA for a Facebook post against the chief minister. Indeed, even the survey of the conduct of the detenu is given to the Advisory Boards which is additionally an executive authority. In this sort of circumstance, the detaining authorities may manhandle and abuse authority and force, which hurts the principal right of individual freedom of the detainee.
  • The NSA was forced against 3 men in the Bulandshahr locale since they were blamed for cow butcher the NSA was forced against the 3 men which was a conspicuous abuse of the NSA. This relates to the December 3 episode wherein a police officer, Subodh Kumar Singh, was murdered by a horde fighting the supposed occurrence of a cow butcher. The irony would be too gentle a word to use here, where the passing of a police officer on the job is treated as standard wrongdoing, while the alleged executing of cows is a national security threat.
  • The UP government has taken big pride in invoking the NSA, in what it professes to be it offered to battle crimes. In January 2016, the Yogi Adityanath government in UP themself gave a public statement claiming that the NSA had been conjured against 160 people, including the Dalit activists and administrator of the Bhim Army, Chandrashekhar, who was detained in June 2017 and was released in September 2018.


Preventive Detention implies an individual’s detainment ahead of time to prevent any further chance of the commitment of wrongdoing or its engagement. Preventive Detention is, in this manner, an action taken on the basis that, the person might do some wrongful act.

In the case of Mariappan v. The District Collector and Others,[11] the honorable judge held that the moto of detention and its laws isn’t to punish anyone rather, to stop certain crimes from being committed.

In the case of Union of India v. Paul Nanickan and Anr[12], the Supreme Court stated that the purpose of the preventive detention isn’t to punish any person for doing something but to obstruct him before doing it and prevent him from doing so. The reason for such detention is based on suspicion or reasonable future happenings and not a criminal conviction, which can be justified only by valid proof.

Even in Maneka Gandhi’s case[13] although the subject matter of the case was different, the Supreme Court has held that the “procedure established by law” must also be just, fair and reasonable.


Mahatma Gandhi composed this in a letter to the press communicating his disappointment towards the Rowlatt Acts of 1919. Preventive detainments must be endured in any fair society in the most limited conditions. It should be exercised with the most extreme self-control and held as long as it is rigorously essential. However, in a democratic society like India, it has been conjured wildly in the sole direction of the government and law enforcement organizations. We right now have different laws concerning preventive detentions; however, it is yet an unresolved matter that how far these systems are fit for securing a detainee’s interest. Some have also pointed to the fact that the governments use NSA as an extra-judicial power. However long the law on preventive detention is made inside the administrative section and doesn’t infringe any conditions or limitations on that power, such law can’t be struck down on the plausible ground that it is coursed to obstruct with individuals’ freedom. Under this regard, an ethical assessment should be taken because, the lives and individual’s freedom should be regarded and, at the opposite end, the life and individual’s freedom of the individual detained should be taken care of.

[1]  National Sec. Act, No. 65 of 1980, India Code.

[2]  National Sec. Act, No. 65 of 1980, India Code §3.

[3]  National Sec. Act, No. 65 of 1980, India Code §5.

[4] National Sec. Act, No. 65 of 1980, India Code §7.

[5] National Sec. Act, No. 65 of 1980, India Code §13.

[6] National Sec. Act, No. 65 of 1980, India Code §8, §8 (2).

[7] The Code of Criminal Procedure,1973, India Code§50.

[8]. India Const art 22, cl. 1.

[9] India Const art 21.

[10] Kishori Mohan Bera vs The State of West Bengal (1972) 3 SCC 845 (India).

[11] Mariappan vs The District Collector and Ors, (2014) H.C.P.(MD) No.244 (India).

[12] Union of India vs Paul Nanickan And Anr (2003) In SC 516 (India).

[13] Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India (1978) AIR 597, 1978 SCR (2) 621 (India).

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