Lucknow: Under the National Security Act (NSA), Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government has filed as many as 120 cases between January 2018 and December 2020 and the Allahabad High Court has quashed as many 94 of them stating that they were filed under frivolous grounds, an investigation by the Indian Express revealed.

The report also highlighted the fact that out of total 120 cases filed by UP government, 41 (almost one-third) were related to cow slaughter where NSA was invoked, adding that all the accused in cow slaughter cases were found to be from Muslim community. 

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The decronian law states that government may detain a person for ‘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 a foreigner whose ‘continued presence in India’ may need to be ‘regulated’.

The investigation by the daily further reveals that in 120 cases between January 2018 and December 2020, the Allahabad HC red-flagged the way NSA was invoked, which gives it power to arrest someone without formal charge of trial. The IE report also said that in 94 detentions, the High Court quashed orders of DMs in as many as 32 districts and ordered the release of the detainees.

An example of this is the case of Dr Kafeel Khan of Gorakhpur who was booked under NSA in February 2020 in a case of alleged hate speech and then the NSA was extended for another three months. In September, the court set aside NSA invoked against Khan and ordered his release.

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The NSA allows three months’ detention at a time, which can be extended up to 12 months with approval from the NSA advisory board set up by the government.

Last but not the least, the Indian Express report also showed that administration has provided identical reason to invoke the decronian law in several cases, which included content of FIR copies and grounds of detention by District Magistrates (DMs).

In as many as 9 cases, the report found thatr, NSA was invoked on the basis of FIRs that claimed that Police were investigating on information it has got from some random informer. 

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