Terrorism, the growing menace in
Nationally, as well, there have been wide-spread developments. For example,
This MISA Act was followed by more infamous Terrorism and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1985 (or simply TADA), which was in fact the first specialized and focused Indian legislation on terrorism. It was invoked heaving and indiscriminately against the Khalistan movement and during the 1990s Bombay blasts.
Thereafter we had a refined version of terrorism law, with a bit more rights to the accused, but an anti-terrorism law anyways: The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 or POTA. The use of this enactment was not very prominent was still had a huge impact on the working psyche of the Indian police and armed forces, which employed the usage of this law to such a great extent that there was huge political furore over its misuse and thus leading to its repeal.
So, as of today,
The major advantages which an anti-terrorism law has on the ordinary criminal law of the land can be viewed as; giving more powers to executive to deal with situations; greater ability to armed forces to counter-act, with generally civil rights being suspended; higher conviction rates of the accused with less requirements of evidence and intent to be shown; etc.
But in any case, where would be head to with such a law and why? What are the major motivations for the government to go for a law which subverts and in some cases even over-rides the judicial process? I personally and frankly believe it is influenced by their distrust on the ability of the judicial process and the carving for more power.
If its the former, i.e. lack of trust on the judicial system, then why have one at all? Is it there for formality, to show the world that we have a civilized system with a committed judiciary and a developed jurisprudence but internally we find that its not worth it so we have special mechanisms in place to over-ride them at time and do what we think is the correct sense of justice such that it even does not require a trial.
If its the latter, it does not require any elaboration but is in fact an illustration of the human personality and diaspora; greed for power.
In any case, its not worthwhile to have one such law. It leads no where except for killing millions of innocent civilians, who are scarified in the name of preserving national integrity and well-being. And then there always are fall-outs from having a biased law, not to mention the irreparable harm it causes to the growth of judicial tolerability and legal certainly. Any body remembers the Habeas Corpus case in India, and the Regina v. R case in UK?