What you must know about NSA: Its scope and provisions

  • NSA or National Security Act is a hot topic in the media today as the law is enforced in different states of the country to arrest offenders attacking coronavirus warriors.

  • NSA empowers the government at the state and center level to arrest a person without charges and keep them in jail for about 12 months.

  • Here are the various provisions and scope of the NSA you must know to understand the implications of the act to the general public.
NSA, expanded as the National Security Act was enacted on September 23, 1980 under the Indira Gandhi regime. It empowers the state and the central government in India to detain a person who is suspected to be a threat to the nation’s security.

The act gives room for the government to keep a person in jail for about 12 months even without any charges. As Corona pandemic spreads, offenders are attacking doctors, security and medical staff across the country. They have been booked under this law.


Here we discuss the various provisions of the National Security Act 1980, its scope and various provisions.
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About National Security Act

Introduced in India on September 23, 1980, the NSA empowers the state and central governments to detain any individual suspected or found to be a threat to national security. It can also keep them in jail for as long as 12 months even without any charges. The various reasons for which a person can be booked under this law include acting against the security and welfare of the nation, damaging the country’s foreign relations, and obstructing the supply of essential services to the community.

Different provisions of the NSA, 1980
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If an individual does not accept the rule of the law and harms the country’s relations with the other nations, disrupts the maintenance and supply of essential public services, attacks the police personnel on duty, threatens the national security in any manner, he or she can be arrested by the government under this act.

The officer concerned can keep the suspect under NSA under captivity for 5 days even without assigning any reason. Under some special circumstances, this period can extend for a period of 10 to 12 days. Beyond this period, the officer will need the permission of the state or central government to retain the person in detention.

The government will create a panel to deal with the cases booked under NSA and the person arrested under the act cannot avail of any aid by a legal practitioner in any way during the course of the proceedings.
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The law also empowers the government at the center to arrest or expel a foreigner for the sake of controlling his activity.

Scope of the NSA, 1980

The NSA empowers the government to keep the suspect in jail for a period of 12 months even without any charges whatsoever. In case any fresh evidence is found against the arrested individual, the jail term can be extended.
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In case an officer arrests a suspect under NSA, the reason must be detailed to the state government and approval must be sought from the government to detain the person within 12 days after the arrest. The Commissioner of Police or the District Magistrate can issue the arrest orders under this act.



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