The National Security Act, 1980
Enactment Date: [27th December, 1980.]
Act Objective: An Act to
provide for preventive detention in certain cases and for matters connected
therewith. BE it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-first Year of the
Republic of India as follows: --
2. Definitions. In this
Act, unless the context otherwise requires, --
(a) "appropriate Government"
means, as respects a detention order made by the Central Government
or a person detained under such order, the Central Government, and as
respects 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) "detention order" means
an order made under section 3;
(c) "foreigner" has the
same meaning as in the Foreigners Act, 1946 (31 of 1946);
(d) "person" includes a
(e) "State Government",
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
Explanation. --For the
purposes of this sub-section, "acting in any manner prejudicial to the
maintenance of supplies and services essential to the community" does
not include "acting in any manner prejudicial to the maintenance of
supplies of commodities essential to the community" 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
(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-section: 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
"twelve days", the words "fifteen days" 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.
4. Execution of detention
orders. 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, (b) including conditions as to maintenance,
discipline and punishment for breaches of discipline, as the appropriate
Government may, by general or special order, specify; and (c) 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 (d) 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 inoperative on certain grounds. No detention order
shall be invalid or inoperative 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 the State 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 officer may-- (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 ordinarily resides; (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
(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 Government.
(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
Boards. 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 that section.
11. Procedure of Advisory
Boards. (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
(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 concerned.
(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
(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 that 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
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 of1897), 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
Central Government; (b) notwithstanding that the order has been made
by a State Government, by the Central Government.
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 release.
(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 be.
(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 thepenalty 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 that State and the State Ordinance has
been replaced--(i) before such commencement, by an enactment passed
by the Legislature of that State, by such enactment; or (ii) after such
commencement, by an enactment which is passed by the Legislature of
that 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 enacted.
(2) Nothing in this section
shall 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, "State law" 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 this Act.
1* Ins. by Act 60 of 1984, s. 2 (w.e.f.