National Security Act, 1980, is preventive detention law in India. It was replaced by ‘National security ordinance, 1980’. For preventive detention in India, the provisions of NSA are applied. This article explains the provisions of NSA.
Preventive Detention Orders
The Grounds on which a person may be detained (Section 1)
The Act gives power to Central and State Government both. If central and state government is satisfied,
(a) with respect to any person that with a view to preventing him from acting in any manner prejudicial to
- the defence of India,
- the relations of India with foreign powers, or
- the security of India, or
(b) with respect to any foreigner that with a view-
- to regulating his continued presence in India or
- with a view to making arrangements for his expulsion from India, it is necessary so to do,
make an order directing that such person be detained.
(2) 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.
Order how made (Section 3)
The power mentioned in this sub-section (2) may be exercised by District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police under their jurisdiction, if state government confer them power by order, after having regard to the circumstances prevailing or likely to prevail in their area.
The period specified in an order made by the state Government, shall not, in the first instance, exceed three months, but the State Government may, if satisfied, amend such order to extend such period from time to time by any period not exceeding three months at any one time. (Sub-Section 3)
When such officer makes any order, he shall report the fact to the State Government, together with the grounds on which the order has been made. And, no such order shall remain in force for more than twelve days, unless in the meantime, it has been approved by the State Government. (Sub-Section 4)
When any order is made or approved by the State Government, the State Government shall, within seven days, report the fact to the Central Government together with the grounds on which the order has been made and such other particulars as, in the opinion of the State Government, have a bearing on the necessity for the order. (Sub-Section 5)
Power to regulate place and conditions of detention (section 5)
Every person in respect of whom a detention order has been made shall be liable—
(a) to be detained in such place and under such conditions, including conditions as to maintenance, discipline and punishment for breaches of discipline, as the appropriate Government may, by general or special order, specify; and
(b) to be removed from one place of detention to another place of detention, whether within the same State or in another State, by order of the appropriate Government:
Provided that no order shall be made by a State Government under clause (b) for the removal of a person from one State to another State except with the consent of the Government of that other State.
Detention orders not to be invalid or inoperative on certain grounds (Section 6)
No detention order shall be invalid or inoperative merely by reason—
(a) that the person to be detained thereunder is outside the limits of the territorial jurisdiction of the Government or officer making the order, or
(b) that the place of detention of such person is outside the said limits.
Grounds of order of detention to be disclosed to persons affected by the order (Section 8)
(1) When a person is detained under detention order, the authority making the order shall, not later than five days and in exceptional circumstances, not later than fifteen days from the date of detention, communicate to him the grounds on which the order has been made and shall afford him the earliest opportunity of making a representation against the order to the appropriate Government.
(2) Nothing in sub-section (1) shall require the authority to disclose facts which it considers to be against the public interest to disclose.
The Advisory Board
Constitution of Advisory Boards (section 9)
(1) The Central Government and each State Government shall, whenever necessary, constitute one or more Advisory Boards for the purposes of this Act.
(2) Every such Board shall consist of three persons who are, or have been, or are qualified to be appointed as, Judges of a High Court, and such persons shall be appointed by the appropriate Government.
(3) The appropriate Government shall appoint one of the members of the Advisory Board who is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court to be its Chairman.
Reference to Advisory Boards (Section 10)
In every case where a detention order has been made under this Act, the appropriate Government shall, within three weeks from the date of detention of a person under the order, place before the Advisory Board, the grounds on which the order has been made and the representation, if any, made by the person.
Procedure of Advisory Boards (Section 11)
(1) The Advisory Board shall,
- after considering the materials placed before it and,
- after calling for such further information as it may deem necessary from the appropriate Government or
- from any person called for the purpose through the appropriate Government or
- from the person concerned, and
- if, in any particular case, it considers it essential so to do or if the person concerned desires to be heard, after hearing him in person,
submit its report to the appropriate Government within seven weeks from the date of detention of the person concerned.
(2) The report of the Advisory Board shall specify in a separate part thereof the opinion of the Advisory Board as to whether or not there is sufficient cause for the detention of the person concerned.
(3) When there is a difference of opinion among the members forming the Advisory Board, the opinion of the majority of such members shall be deemed to be the opinion of the Board.
(4) Nothing in this section shall entitle any person against whom a detention order has been made to appear by any legal practitioner in any matter connected with the reference to the Advisory Board;
and the proceedings of the Advisory Board and its report, excepting that part of the report in which the opinion of the Advisory Board is specified, shall be confidential.
Action upon the report of the Advisory Board (section 12)
(1) In any case where the Advisory Board has reported that there is, in its opinion, sufficient cause for the detention of a person, the appropriate Government may confirm the detention order and continue the detention of the person concerned for such period as it thinks fit.
(2) In any case where the Advisory Board has reported that there is, in its opinion, no sufficient cause for the detention of a person, the appropriate Government shall revoke the detention order and cause the person concerned to be released forthwith.
Maximum period of detention (Section 13)
The maximum period for which any person may be detained in pursuance of any detention order shall be twelve months from the date of detention.
14. Revocation of detention orders (section 14)
A detention order may be revoked or modified at any time,
(a) notwithstanding that the order has been made by an officer, by the State Government to which that officer is subordinate or by the Central Government;
(b) notwithstanding that the order has been made by a State Government, by the Central Government.
(2) The expiry or revocation of a detention order shall not bar the making of another detention order under section 3 against the same person:
Provided that in a case where no fresh facts have arisen after the expiry or revocation of the earlier detention order made against such person, the maximum period for which such person may be detained in pursuance of the subsequent detention order shall, in no case, extend beyond the expiry of a period of twelve months from the date of detention under the earlier detention order.
National Security Act, 1980