Report No. 43
9.2. Section 2 covered by the Act of 1967-Repeal recommended.-
Under section 2 of the Act, a person who questions the territorial integrity or frontiers of India in a manner which is, or is likely to be, prejudicial to the interests of the safety or security of India, is punishable with imprisonment upto 3 years, or fine or both. It appears to us that section 2 is practically covered by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
The combined effect of section 2(f) and section 13(1) of the Act of 1967 is to punish any action, whether by committing an act or by words either spoken or written or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise, which is intended or supports any claim to bring about cession or secession or which disclaims, questions, disrupts or is intended to disrupt the sovereignty and territorial integrity "of India". The 1967 Act, unlike section 2 of the 1961 Act, does not mention 'frontiers' expressly. But, a serious challenge to frontiers (barring, perhaps, an academic discussion) cannot escape the all-embracing clause "questions the sovereignty", occurring in section 2(f) of the 1967 Act.
Moreover, the maximum punishment under section 13 of the 1967 Act is imprisonment upto five years, while the Act of 1961 punishes the act with imprisonment upto 3 years, even though the latter Act is more stringent, as it requires that the act be done in ,a manner prejudicial to the interests of the safety or security of India.
We, therefore, recommend that section 2 should be repealed1.
1. Consequential changes will be required in section 4 which refers to section 2.