National Security Act 1980-India
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - National Security Act 1980-India
THE NATIONAL SECURITY ACT, 1980
Table of content
Section 1 Short title and extent
Section 2 Definitions
Section 3 Power to make orders detaining certain persons
Section 4 Execution of detention order
Section 5 Power to regulate place and conditions of detention
Section 6 Detention orders not to be invalid or in-operative on certain
Section 7 Powers in relation to absconding persons
Section 8 Grounds of order of detention to be disclosed to persons affected
by the order
Section 9 Constitution of Advisory Boards
Section 10 Reference to Advisory Board
Section 11 Procedure of Advisory Board
Section 12 Action upon the report of the Advisory Board
Section 13 Maximum period of detention
Section 14 Revocation of detention orders
Section 14A Circumstances in which persons may be detained for periods
longer than three months without obtaining the opinion of
Section 15 Temporary release of persons detained
Section 16 Protection of action taken in good faith
Section 17 Act not to have effect with respect to detentions under State laws
Section 18 Repeal and saving
The National Security Act, 1980
HISTORY OF LEGISLATION
One of the external aids to construction is the history of the legislation. Regard must be had not
only to the words used in the statute but also to the history of the legislation and reasons which led
to its framing and promulgation; and to the mischief which had to be cured as well as the cure
[Commissioner of Income Tax v. Shambulal Nathalal & Co. (1985) 23 Taxman 93 (Karn.) F.B.].
A Bill is the draft of an Act of Parliament. It may be cited either by reference to the number and
year thereof or by reference to the short title conferred thereon. Number and year of the Bill
normally precede its short title. quot;Statement of Objects and Reasonsquot; is always appended thereto.
Reference may be relevantly had to the Statement of Objects and Reasons for ascertaining the
conditions at the time of introduction of the Bill namely, the extent and urgency of the evil sought
to be remedied by the statutory legislation.
[Jammuna Prasad v. Kishori Lal, AIR 1973 Cal. 204 (F.B.)].
Statement of Objects and Reasons for introducing a Bill can only be referred to for the limited
purpose of ascertaining the circumstances which actuated the sponsor of the Bill to introduce it and
the purpose of doing so.
[A.C. Sharma v. Delhi Administration, AIR 1973 S.C. 913 (F.B.)].
Statement of Objects and Reasons may and do furnish valuable and even historical material in
ascertaining the reasons which induced the legislature to enact the statute but while interpreting the
statute they must be ignored.
[Haribandu Das v. District Magistrate, Cuttack, AIR 1986 Ori. 148].
It can be looked into for ascertaining intention of the legislature.
[Rashid Khan v. Osman Khan, 1980 Mah. L.J. 428.].
STATEMENT OF OBJECTS & REASONS
quot;In the prevailing situation of communal disharmony, social tensions, extremist activities,
industrial unrest and increasing tendency on the part of various interested parties to engineer
agitation on different issues, it was considered necessary that the law and order situation in the
country is tackled in a most determined and effective way. The anti-social and anti-national
elements including secessionist, communal and pro-caste elements and also other elements who
adversely influence and affect the services essential to the community pose a grave challenge to the
lawful authority and sometimes even hold the society to ransom.
Considering the complexity and nature of the problems, particularly in respect of defense, security,
public order and services essential to the community, it is the considered view of the Government
that the administration would be greatly handicapped in dealing effectively with the same in the
absence of powers of preventive detention. The National Security Ordinance, 1980, was, therefore,
promulgated by President on September 22, 1980.
Subject to a modification, the Bill seeks to replace the aforesaid Ordinance. The modification
relates to the composition of Advisory Boards, and is for providing that the Chairman of an
Advisory Board shall be a person who is, or has been, a Judge of a High Court and the other
members of the Advisory Board may be persons who are, or have been or are qualified to be
appointed as, judges of a High Court.quot;
In Parliament a Bill may be introduced in either House, provided it is not a money Bill. A money
Bill can be introduced only in the Lok Sabha.
The Bill comes up for discussion on the floor of the Parliament-first by the members of the House
in which it was introduced and thereafter by the members of the other House. If the other House
makes any amendment in the Bill, it is sent back to the first House for considering such
amendment. Generally, the amendment is agreed to. Then, the Bill is said to have been passed by
both the Houses of Parliament.
(a) may, or may not, pass a Bill.,
(b) may pass a Bill with or without any amendment, or
(c) is competent to modify a Bill or to redraft it, too.
ACT NO. 65 OF 1980
The Bill passed by both the Houses of Parliament received the assent of the President on 27th
December 1980 and soon, thereafter, became an Act of Parliament under the short title quot;THE
NATIONAL SECURITY ACT, 1980.quot;
THE NATIONAL SECURITY ACT, 1980
[27th December, 1980.]
An Act to provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected therewith.
DETENU'S RIGHT -
Preventive detention is an exception to the normal procedure. It has been sanctioned and
authorised for a very limited purpose under article 22(2) (b) of the Constitution of India with good
deal of safeguards. Exercise of the power of preventive detention must be with circumspection and
Our Constitution is supreme which embodies a philosophy and a way of life. The purpose
of all Governments is to promote the common well-being and it must subserve the common good.
It is, therefore, necessary to protect individual rights as far as consistent with the security of the
society and an atmosphere wherein even tempo of community is least in danger. It is only with this
object that the law of preventive detention has come into being, being an exception to the normal
There are various procedural safeguards like making known to the detenu within a
particular time the grounds of detention and giving him information that he can make
representation which should be placed before the Advisory Board and the opinion of the Advisory
Board should be placed before the Government concerned and thereafter a decision be taken
The duty of the Government to consider the representation as soon as it is received, is a
constitutional safeguard against improper or unjustified exercise of the power of detention. Since
preventive detention is a serious inroad on individual liberty and its justification, the prevention of
imminent danger of activity prejudicial to the community, the court would scrutinise delay on each
of the stages involved and where there is no explanation for such delay it would strike down the
order of detention on the ground of delay.
1. Short title and extent—
(1) This Act may be called the National Security Act, 1980.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a) quot;appropriate Governmentquot; means, as respects a detention order made by the Central
Government or a person detained under such order, the Central Government, and as respect a
detention order made by a State Government or by an officer subordinate to a State Government or
as respects a person detained under such order, the State Government;
(b) quot;detention orderquot; means an order made under Section 3;
(c) quot;foreignerquot; has the same meaning as the Foreigners Act, 1946 (31 of 1946);
(d) quot;personquot; includes a foreigner;
(e) quot;State Governmentquot;, in relation to a Union territory, means the administrator thereof.
3. Power to make orders detaining certain persons—
(1) The Central Government or the State Government may,—
(a) if satisfied 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) if satisfied 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) 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.
Explanation—For the purposes of this Sub-section, quot;acting in any manner prejudicial to the
maintenance of supplies and services essential to the communityquot; does not include quot;acting in
any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of supplies of commodities essential to the
communityquot; as defined in the Explanation to Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Prevention of
Black-marketing and Maintenance of Supplies of Essential Commodities Act, 1980 (7 of 1980),
and accordingly, no order of detention shall be made under this Act on any ground on which an
order of detention may be made under that Act.
(3) If, having regard to the circumstances prevailing or likely to prevail in any area within the local
limits of the jurisdiction of a District Magistrate or a Commissioner of Police, the State
Government is satisfied that it is necessary so to do, it may, by order in writing, direct, that during
such period as may be specified in the order, such District Magistrate or Commissioner of Police
may also, if satisfied as provided in Sub-section (2), exercise the powers conferred by the said Sub-
Provided that the period specified in an order made by the State Government under this
Sub-section shall not, in the first instance, exceed three months, but the State Government may, if
satisfied as aforesaid that it is necessary so to do, amend such order to extend such period from
time to time by any period not exceeding three months at any one time.
(4) When any order is made under this Section by an officer mentioned in Sub-section (3), he shall
forthwith report the fact to the State Government to which he is subordinate together with the
grounds on which the order has been made and such other particulars as, in his opinion, have a
bearing on the matter, and no such order shall remain in force for more than twelve days after the
making thereof unless, in the meantime, it has been approved by the State Government:
Provided that where under Section 8 the grounds of detention are communicated by the
officer making the order after five days but not later than ten days from the date of detention, this
Sub-section shall apply subject to the modification, that, for the words quot;twelve daysquot;, the words
quot;fifteen daysquot; shall be substituted.
(5) When any order is made or approved by the State Government under this Section, 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.
A private crime is distinct from a public crime. [Gulab Sanjeevan Yadav v. State of U.P. & Ors.;
(1993) 2 Crimes 715 (All.) D.B.].
The nature of the act, the circumstances of its commission, the impact on people around and such
like factors constitute the pathology of quot;public order.quot; [ibid].
No hard and fast rule can be precisely formulated or exhaustive guidlines can be laid down for
testing the quot;proximityquot;. [ibid].
The delay by itself is not a ground which proves to be fatal, if there is an explanation. [Smt.
Kamlabai v. Commissioner of Police & Ors.; (1993) 2 Crimes 307 (S.C.)].
It is for the Detaining Authority to record his subjective satisfaction on the relevant ground (s).
[Rajendra Singh v. State of U.P. & Anr.; (1993) 3 Crimes 364 (All.) D.B.].
The application of mind in a mechanical manner cannot be permitted to be termed as a subjective
satisfaction of the Detaining Authority. [Kali Charan, etc. v. State of U.P. & Ors.; (1993) 3 Crimes
399 (All.) D.B.].
It is the duly of the Sponsoring Authority to collect all the relevant material and place it before the
Detaining Authority. [Madan Gopal alias Madan Bhaiya v. Union of India & Ors.; (1993) 3
Crimes 483 (Delhi)].
4. Execution of detention order—
A detention order may be executed at any place in India in the manner provided for the execution
of warrants of arrest under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974).
5. Power to regulate place and conditions of detention—
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.
6. Detention orders not to be invalid or in-operative on certain grounds—
No detention order shall be invalid or in-operative 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.
7. Powers in relation to absconding persons—
(1) If the Central Government or an officer mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section 3, as the case
may be, has reason to believe that a person in respect of whom a detention order has been made
has absconded or is concealing himself so that the order cannot be executed, that Government or
(a) make a report in writing of the fact to a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial
Magistrate of the First Class having jurisdiction in the place where the said person
(b) by order notified in the Official Gazette direct the said person to appear before such
officer, at such place and within such period as may be specified in the order.
(2) Upon the making of a report against any person under clause (a) of Sub-section (1), the
provisions of Sections 82, 83, 84 and 85 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),
shall apply in respect of such person and his property as if the detention order made against him
were a warrant issued by the Magistrate.
(3) If any person fails to comply with an order issued under clause (b) of Sub-section (1) he shall,
unless he proves that it was not possible for him to comply therewith and that he had, within the
period specified in the order, informed the officer mentioned in the order of the reason which
rendered compliance therewith impossible and of his whereabouts, be punishable with
imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974),
every offence under Sub-section (3) shall be cognizable.
8. Grounds of order of detention to be disclosed to persons affected by the order—
(1) When a person is detained in pursuance of a detention order, the authority making the order
shall, as soon as may be, but ordinarily not later than five days and in exceptional circumstances
and for reasons to be recorded in writing, not later than ten 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.
9. Constitution of Advisory Boards—
(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
(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, and in the case of a Union territory, the
appointment to the Advisory Board of any person who is a Judge of the High Court of a State shall
be with the previous approval of the State Government concerned.
10. Reference to Advisory Board—
Save as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, 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 constituted by it under
Section 9, the grounds on which the order has been made and the representation, if any, made by
the person affected by the order, and in case where the order has been made by an officer
mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section 3, also the report by such officer under Sub-section (4) of
11. Procedure of Advisory Board—
(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
(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 the part of the report in
which the opinion of the Advisory Board is specified, shall be confidential.
12. Action upon the report of the Advisory Board—
(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.
13. Maximum period of detention—
The maximum period for which any person may be detained in pursuance of any detention order
which has been confirmed under Section 12 shall be twelve months from the date of detention:
Provided that nothing contained in this Section shall affect the power of the appropriate
Government to revoke or modify the detention order at any earlier time.
14. Revocation of detention orders—
(1) Without prejudice to the provisions of Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of
1897), a detention order may, at any time, be revoked or modified,—
(a) notwithstanding that the order has been made by an officer mentioned in Sub-section
(3) of Section 3, by the State Government to which that officer is subordinate or by the
(b) notwithstanding that the order has been made by a State Government, by the Central
(2) The revocation or expiry of a detention order shall not bar the making of a fresh detention order
under Section 3 against the same person in any case where fresh facts have arisen after the date of
revocation or expiry on which the Central Government or State Government or an officer
mentioned in Sub-section (3) of Section 3, as the case may be, is satisfied that such an order should
Inordinate delay in disposing of the representation of the detenu renders the order of detention
illegal as well as un-constitutional.
[Sunil alias Ashiq Ahmad v. The Jailor, District Jail & Ors; (1993) 2 Crimes 1138 (All.) D.B.].
Unreasonable and unexplained delay in disposing of the detenu's representation vitiates the order
14A. Circumstances in which persons may be detained for periods longer than three months
without obtaining the opinion of Advisory Boards—
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing provisions of this Act, or in any
judgment, decree or order of any court or other authority, any person in respect of whom an order
of detention has been made under this Act at any time before the 2[8th day of June, 1989] may be
detained without obtaining the opinion of the Advisory Board for a period longer than three
months, but not exceeding six months, from the date of his detention where such person had been
detained with a view to preventing him, in any disturbed area—
(i) from interfering with the efforts of Government in coping with the terrorist and
disruptive activities; and
(ii) from acting in any manner prejudicial to—
(a) the defence of India; or
(b) the security of India; or
(c) the security of the State; or
(d) the maintenance of public order; or
(e) the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community.
Explanation 1—The provisions of the Explanation to Sub-section (2) of Section 3 shall apply for
the purposes of this Sub-section as they apply for the purposes of that Sub-section.
Explanation 2—In this Sub-section, quot;disturbed areaquot; means any area which is for the time being
declared by notification under Section 3 of the Punjab Disturbed Areas Act, 1983 (32 of 1983), or
under Section 3 of the Chandigarh Disturbed Areas Act, 1983 (33 of 1983), to be a disturbed area.
Explanation 3—In this Sub-section, quot;terrorist and disruptive activitiesquot; means quot;terrorist actsquot;
and quot;disruptive activitiesquot; within the meaning of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities
(Prevention) Ordinance, 1987 (Ord. 2 of 1987).
(2) In the case of any person to whom Sub-section (1) applies, Sections 3, 8 and 10 to 14 shall have
effect subject to the following modifications, namely:
(a) in Section 3—,
(i) in Sub-section (4), in the proviso,—
(A) for the words quot;ten daysquot;, the words quot;fifteen daysquot; shall be substituted;
(B) for the words quot;ten daysquot; the words quot;twenty daysquot; shall be substituted;
(ii) in Sub-section (5), for the words quot;seven daysquot;, the words quot;fifteen daysquot; shall
(b) in Section 8, in Sub-section (1), for the words quot;ten daysquot;, the words quot;fifteen daysquot; shall be
(c) in Section 10, for the words quot;shall, within three weeksquot;, the words quot;shall, within four months
and two weeksquot; shall be substituted;
(d) in Section 11,—
(i) in Sub-section (1), for the words quot;seven weeksquot;, the words quot;five months and three
weeksquot; shall be substituted;
(ii) in Sub-section (2), for the words quot;detention of the person concernedquot;, the words
quot;continued detention of the person concernedquot; shall be substituted;
(e) in Section 12, for the words quot;for the detentionquot;, at both the places where they occur, the words
quot;for the continued detentionquot; shall be substituted;
(f) in Section 13, for the words quot;twelve monthsquot;, the words quot;two yearsquot; shall be substituted:
(g) in Section 14, in the proviso to Sub-section (2), for the words quot;twelve monthsquot; the words quot;two
yearsquot; shall be substituted.
15. Temporary release of persons detained—
(1) The appropriate Government may, at any time, direct that any person detained in pursuance of
a detention order may be released for any specified period either without conditions or upon such
conditions specified in the direction as that person accepts, and may, at any time, cancel his
(2) In directing the release of any person under Sub-section (1), the appropriate Government may
require him to enter into a bond with or without sureties for the due observance of the conditions
specified in the direction.
(3) Any person released under Sub-section (1) shall surrender himself at the time and place, and to
the authority, specified in the order directing his release or cancelling his release, as the case may
(4) If any person, fails without sufficient cause, to surrender himself in the manner specified in
Sub-section (3), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two
years, or with fine, or with both.
(5) If any person released under Sub-section (1) fails to fulfil any of the conditions imposed upon
him under the said Sub-section or in the bond entered into by him, the bond shall be declared to be
forfeited and any person bound thereby shall be liable to pay the penalty thereof.
16. Protection of action taken in good faith—
No suit or other legal proceeding shall lie against the Central Government or a State Government,
and no suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against any person, for anything in good
faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act.
17. Act not to have effect with respect to detentions under State laws—
(1) Nothing in this Act shall apply or have any effect with respect to orders of detention, made
under any State law, which are in force immediately before the commencement of the National
Security Ordinance, 1980 (11 of 1980), and accordingly every person in respect of whom an order
of detention made under any State law is in force immediately before such commencement, shall
be governed with respect to such detention by the provisions of such State law or where the State
law under which such order of detention is made is an Ordinance (hereinafter referred to as the
State Ordinance) promulgated by the Governor of the State and the State Ordinance has been
(i) before such commencement, by an enactment passed by the Legislature of the State, by
such enactment; or
(ii) after such commencement, by an enactment which is passed by the Legislature of the
State and the application of which is confined to orders of detention made before such
commencement under the State Ordinance, by such enactment, as if this Act had not been
(2) Nothing in this section be deemed to bar the making under Section 3, of a detention order
against any person referred to in Sub-section (1) after the detention order in force in respect of him
as aforesaid immediately before the commencement of the National Security Ordinance, 1980 (11
of 1980), ceases to have effect for any reason whatsoever.
Explanation—For the purposes of this Section, quot;State lawquot; means any law providing for
preventive detention on all or any of the grounds on which an order of detention may be made
under Sub-section (2) of Section 3 and in force in any State immediately before the
commencement of the said Ordinance.
18. Repeal and saving—
(1) The National Security Ordinance, 1980 (11 of 1980), is hereby repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, anything done or any action taken under the said Ordinance shall
be deemed to have been done or taken under the corresponding provisions of this Act, as if this Act
had come into force on the 23rd day of September, 1980, and, in particular, any reference made
under Section 10 of the said Ordinance and pending before any Advisory Board immediately
before the date on which this Act receives the assent of the President may continue to be dealt with
by that Board after that date as if such Board had been constituted under Section 9 of the Act.