Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has granted power of detaining authority to the Delhi Police Commissioner under the National Security Act, according to a notification.
It comes at a time when the national capital has been witnessing a number of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The NSA allows preventive detention of an individual if the authorities feel that the individual is a threat to the national security, and law and order. Under the provisions of the colonial-era law, the government can detain a person for a maximum period of 12 months without giving him or her any recourse to judicial proceedings.
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 3, read with clause (c) of Section 2 of the National Security Act, 1980, the Lt Governor pleased to direct that during the period January 19 to April 18, the Delhi Police Commissioner may also exercise the powers of detaining authority under sub-section (2) of the section 3 of the aforesaid Act," stated the notification dated January 10.
The notification has been issued on January 10 following the approval of the LG.
However, the Delhi Police said it is a routine order that has been issued every quarter and has nothing to do with the current restive situation.
The move was sharply criticised by AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi on Twitter: "Delhi Police has shown willingness to act in a way that pleases the Centre. Now it is been empowered to detain under draconian NSA."
Delhi police has shown willingness to act in a way that pleases the Centre. Now it’s been empowered to detain under draconian NSA. It allows detention up to 1 yr without vakil, daleel, appeal & is popular with cops who want to go after anyone irrespective of their guilt/innocence https://t.co/hRbNEX5O8T— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) January 17, 2020
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh government on Friday issued an order, empowering the collectors and district magistrates and the commissioners of police in the state to exercise powers of detention under the NSA for up to three months.
The "powers of detention" are already in existence for the past three months and will continue for the next three months.
"The National Security Act,1980 (No.65 of 1980)-Extension of period for empowering all the Collectors and District Magistrates and the Commissioners of Police in of Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam to exercise powers of detention there under for a further period of three months from January 16, 2020 to April 15, 2020," Nilam Sawhney, Chief Secretary to Government said.
The order comes in wake of the YSRCP government's proposal to have three capitals, which has triggered protesrs in across the state and particularly in Amravati.
(With PTI inputs)