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Anti-Terror laws should not be misused to quell dissent, says Justice D Y Chandrachud

Anti-Terror laws should not be misused to quell dissent, says Justice D Y Chandrachud

Amid outrage over the death of 84-year-old activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the anti-terror law - Unlawful Activities Prevention Act or UAPA - in the Elgar Parishad case last year, Supreme Court Judge Justice Dr D Y Chandrachud said on Monday that criminal law, including anti-terror legislation, should not be misused for quelling dissent or for harassment of citizens.

Justice Chandrachud was speaking at Indo-US Joint Summer Conference on the legal ties between India and the United States.

Quoting his own judgement in Arnab Goswami vs the State, he urged the courts to ensure that they continue to remain the first line of defence against the deprivation of liberty of citizens, reports NDTV.

Speaking at the event, he also added that "Deprivation of liberty for even a single day is one too many". He also warned everyone to be aware of the deeper systemic issues of judicial decisions.

During Monday's event, Justice Chandrachud made several other remarks on Indo-US ties saying that United States is a "torchbearer in promoting liberty, freedom of speech and expression and religious peace".

He also emphasized that USA's "influence on Indian jurisprudence cannot be understated" adding that 'American jurisprudence has contributed to the heart and soul of the Indian constitution'.

He highlighted the American influence in Indian constitutionalism pointing out protection of life and personal liberty under Article 21 of Indian constitution and conception of the idea in the Bill of Rights, which says that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

He also pointed out that he relied on US Supreme Court decision in Lawrence Vs Texas in his judgement on decriminalising same-sex relationship between adults

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TAGS:Anti Terror Laws UAPA Justice Chandrachud 
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