24 January 2020
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to entertain a plea challenging the imposition of the National Security Act (NSA) in few states and the national capital amid anti-CAA protests.
A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Indira Banerjee said the bench was not inclined to pass a blanket order in connection with the imposition of the NSA, and asked lawyer M.L. Sharma to withdraw the plea.
NSA enables the police to detain persons without trial for a period of 12 months.
The top court observed that how can it tie down the hands of authorities when properties were being burnt in the ongoing protests.
Justice Arun Mishra also added: "These are law and order issues. How can we interfere? "
The court said it cannot pass a general direction, a blanket order restraining government from invoking NSA but it can definitely do something in individual cases of misuse of the NSA by authorities if brought to their attention.
The court observed the plea sought directions to the government not to arrest anybody.
"How can we do that? Withdraw the petition and we give you liberty to approach the court citing individual cases of misuse of authority but not like this...," said the court.
Sharma has challenged the imposition of the NSA, terming it as a tool to contain protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC).
The court asked Sharma to file a fresh petition or an interim application in pending pleas on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) before the top court citing specific details on the incidents of violations of NSA.
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on January 10 notified the extension of detaining powers to Delhi Police under the NSA for a three-month period beginning from January 19.
"The cause of actions arose on January 10, when respondents (states) imposed NSA Act for next three months with effect from January 19 in Delhi as well as in Andhra Pradesh by the state government to arrest and detain," the plea said.
The plea also sought a compensation of Rs 50,00,000 each to those who have been detained under the NSA.