ANTI TERRORISM ACT

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The ANTI TERRORISM ACT 1997

An act for the prevention of terrorism, sectarian violence and for speedy trial of heinous offenses,

whereas expedient to provide for the prevention of terrorism, sectarian violence and for speedy trial of heinous and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto;

SHORT TITLE, EXTENT AND COMMENCEMENT.

  • This act may be called terrorism act 1997

  • it extend to the whole of Pakistan

  • it shall come into the force at once.

  • DEFINITION

Anti terrorism court has no jurisdiction to try the offence and the offence was liable under the law existing at the time of commission of the offence,

in this act unless there is any thing repugnant in the subject or context–

  • ARMED FORCES-means the military, naval and air forced of Pakistan and the reserves of such forces;

  • CIVIL ARMED Forces means frontier constabulary, frontier corps, Pakistan coast guards, Pakistan rangers or any other civil armed force notified by the federal Government as such;

  • CODE—means the code criminal procedure 1898

  • CHILD-– means a person who at the time of the commission of the offence has not attained the age of 18 years.

  • COURT—means an anti terrorism court established under section 13.

  • EXPLOSIVE—means any bomb, grenade, dynamite or explosive substance capable of causing an injury to any person or damage to any property and includes any explosive substance as defined in the explosive act 1884.

  • FIREARMS—means any or all types and gauges of handguns, refiles and shotguns whether automatic semi automatic to bolt action and shall include all other fir-arms as defined in the arms ordinance 1965.

  • FINE—means a pecuniary amount to be determined by the court having regard to the facts and circumstances of the cases.

  • FREEZE— means to prohibit the transfer, conversion, disposition or movement provisional Government;

  • GOVERNMENT—means the federal Government or as the case may be provisional Government;

  • GRIEVOUS—means in relation bodily injury, means emasculation, mutilation, incapacitation disfigurement or serve harm or hurt and in relation to property means severe loses damage or destruction.

  • HIGH COURT—means the high court having territorial jurisdiction in respect of the area for which an anti terrorism court has been established;

  • HIJACKING—means any lawful seizure or exercise of control or any attempt at unlawful seizure or exercise of control of an aircraft by force violence threat or any form of obstruction directly or through any7 other person from within or outside the aircraft;

  • HOSTAGE-TAKING—means the holding of the person captive with threats made to kill or harm that person if demands are not met;

  • KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM—means the action of conveying any person from any place without his consent or by force compelling or by any deceitful means including him to go from any place and unlawfully detaining him and demanding or attempting to demand money pecuniary or other benefit from him or from another person as a condition of his release;

  • MEETING—means a meeting of two or more persons whether in public or private;

  • MONEY—including coins or notes in any currency postal order money orders bank credit bank accounts letter of the credit travelers cheques bank cheques banker draft in any form electronic digital or otherwise and such other kinds of monetary instruments or documents as the federal government may by order specify;

  • ORGANIZATION—means any group, combination or body of persons [] persons means any natural legal person or body corporate;

  • PROPERTY—means property of every description whether corporeal or incorporeal movable and immovable tangible or intangible and includes shares securities bonds and deeds and instruments evidencing title to or an interest in property of any kind and money.

  • PROSCRIBED ORGANIZATION—means any organization which is listed in the schedule under section 11EE;]

  • PUBLIC SERVANT—shall have the same meaning as in section 21 of the Pakistan Penal Code 1860or law for the time being in force;

  • SCHEDULE—means a schedule to this act;

  • SCHEDULE OFFENCE—means an offence as set out in the third schedule;

  • SECTARIAN— means pertaining to devoted to peculiar to or one which promotes the interest of a religious sects or sects in a bigoted or prejudicial manner;

  • SECTARIAN HATRED—means hatred against a group of persons defined by reference ton religion religious sects religious persuasion or religious belief;

  • SEIZE—means to take custody or control of money or other property in order to prohibit its transfer conversion disposition or movement

  • SERIOUS—means dangerous to or property

  • TERRORISM—or act of terrorism act has the meaning as assigned to it in section 6;

  • TERRORIST—has the meaning as assigned to it in section 6(5);

TERRORIST INVESTIGATION

means investigation of;

  1. the commission preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism under this act.

  2. An act which appears to have been done for the purposes of terrorism;

  3. the resources of a proscribed organization;

  4. the commission preparation or instigation of an offence under this act;

  5. any other act for which investigation may be necessary for the purposes of this act.

CALLING IN OF ARMED FORCES AND CIVIL ARMED FORCES IN AID OF CIVIL POWERS

  • It shall be lawful for the federal government to order and subject to sub-section 2 for the provincial government to secure the presence of armed forces and civil armed forces in any area for the prevention and punishment of terrorism acts and scheduled offences in accordance with the provisions of this act.

  • In the opinion of the federal government the presence of armed forces or civil armed forces is necessary in order to prevent the commission of terrorism acts or scheduled offences in any area. It may request the federal government to direct the presence or posting of units or personnel of the armed forces or civil armed forces in such numbers as may be deemed necessary for the prevention or control of terrorism acts or scheduled offences.

  • The federal government may decide whether the requirements of the situation call for the deployment of–

  • the civil armed forces

  • the armed forces, and on so deciding shall by means of a notification in the official gazette issued under clauses1or 2or both authorize and direct the posting thereof.

USE OF THE ARMED FORCES AND CIVIL ARMED FORCES TO PREVENT TERRORISM

Any police officer or member of the armed forces or civil armed forces who is present of deployed in any area may after giving sufficient warning use the necessary force to prevent the commission of terrorist acts or scheduled offences and in so doing shall in the case of an officer of the armed forces or civil armed forces exercise all the powers of a police officer under the code.

  • In particular and without prejudice to generally of the provinces of subsection

  • an officer of the police armed forces and civil armed forces may –

  • after giving prior warning use such force as may be deemed necessary or appropriate bearing in mind all the facts and circumstances of the situation against any person who is committing a terrorist act or a scheduled offences it shall be lawful for any such officer or any senior officer [after forming reasonable apprehension that death or grievous hurt may be caused by such act or offence]to fire or order the firing upon any person or persons against whom he is authorized to use force in terms hereof.

  • Arrest without warrant any person who has committed an act of terrorism or a scheduled offence or against whom a reasonable suspicious exists that he has committed or is about to commit any such act or offence and

  • enter and search without warrant any premises to make any arrest or to take possession of any property fir-armed weapon or article used or likely to be used in the commission of any terrorist act or scheduled offence.

  • Nothing contained in sub-section 1or 2 shall effect the provisions of chapter ix of the code and the provisions of section 132 of the code shall apply to any person action under this section.

TERRORISM

  • in this act means the use or threat of action where

  • the action falls within the meaning of sub-section 2and

  • the use or threat is designed to coerce and intimidate or overawe the government or the public or a section of the public or community or section or create a sense of fear or insecurity in society

  • the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a religious sectarian or ethnic cause [or intimidating and terrorizing the public social section media persons business community or attacking the civilians including damaging property by ransacking looting arson or by any other means government officials installations security forces or law enforcement agencies]

  • an action shall fall within the meaning of sub-section 1.if it

  • involves the doing of anything that causes death

  • involves grievous violence against a person or grievous body injury or harm to person;

  • involves grievous damage to property [including government premises official installations schools hospitals offices or any other public or private property including damaging property by ransacking looting or arson or by any other means]

  • involves the doing anything that is likely to cause death or endanger a person’s life

  • involves kidnapping for ransom hostage-taking or hijacking.

  • Incites hatred and contempt on religious sanitarian or ethnic basis to stir up violence or cause internal disturbance;

  • involves taking the law in own hand award of any punishment by an organization individual or group whatsoever not recognized by the aw a view to coerce intimidate or terrorize public individuals groups communities government officials and institutions including law enforcement agencies beyond the purview of the law of the land;

DEFINITION OF TERRORISM

The meaning scope and import of the term “terrorism” jurisdiction of the anti terrorism court. Design and purpose.third schedule.terrorism defined in controversy Larger Bench has been constituted.”Terrorism “denotes it may be advantageous to recapitulate how different acts events episodes and phenomena have from time to time been perceived or understood in different parts of the world as terrorism and distinct from ordinary and usual crimes howsoever heinous in nature.

Terrorist operate on a level different from that on which ordinary concerned with the object and design behind an action than with the action itself. The core and essence or the pith and substance of a terrorist act defined by the act was striking terror in the people or any section of the people or alienating any section of the people or adversely affecting harmony among different sections of the people.

The emphasis appeared to be on the gravity of the offence and its effect upon the general populace rather than on the actual motivation behind the act. Definition of terrorism contained in section 6 of the anti terrorism act 1997as it stands at present is too wide and the same includes so many actions designs and purposes which have no nexus with the generally recognized concept of what terrorism is.

Third schedule to that act for trial of such offences by an anti terrorism court when such other offences do not qualify to be included in the definition of terrorism puts an extra and unnecessary burden on such courts and causes delay in trial of actual cases of terrorism. It is recommended that the parliament may consider substituting the present definition of terrorism by a more succinct definition bringing it in line with the international perspectives of that offence and focusing on violent activities aimed at achieving political ideological or religious objectives.

Parliament also consider suitably amending the preamble to the act and removing all those offences from the third schedule to the act which offences have no nexus with the offence of terrorism.

APPLICATION

When police officials are confined in a room and are made to be photographed in the company of the ladies such incident also took place in closed room. Action police are though of very serious nature and are to be discouraged and dealt-with iron hand as in effect such are the attacks on society as a whole yet such attacks could only be dealt with the relevant and applicable law.

Every act of violence triggers fear and panic with collateral impact on the surrounding this by itself would not bring even a most violent act to fall within the mischief of terrorism.

AMENDMENT IN THE TRIAL.

During trial amendment in ATA and transferred to ATA court.

CONFERRING OF JURISDICTION ON THE COURT.

Neither motive and intention for commission of the offence was relevant for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction on the anti terrorism court and it was the act which was the act which was designed to create sense of insecurity and/or to destabilize the public-at-large which attracted the provisions of S.6 of the anti terrorism act 1997.

CONVICTION AND SENTENCE RECORDED AGAINST ACCUSED.

Cold blooded murder of decreased had without any doubt created a sense of fear and insecurity as defined in S.6 and punishable u/s 7 of anti terrorism act1997.

DACOITY

Murder during dacoity case referred ton special court.

DESIGN

Terms intention and motive substituted with sole object jurisdiction if act is design to create a sense of fear or insecurity in society, then A.T.C will have jurisdiction.

ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR COMMISSION OF OFFENCE

It is settled law that intention, motives or mens rea refer to state of mind of an offender.

HOUSE

Offence committed in house jurisdiction of ordinary court.

JURISDICTION

Acts allegedly had not been committed with any intention or mens rea specified in provisions of anti terrorism act 1997.and thus a court constituted under the act no of occurrence as to time place and manner of offence and weapons used therein falling under S.6 of anti terrorism act 1997 created sense of fear and insecurity in society. Case against accused court for taking cognizance and conducting trial of offences was to be initially determined on the basis of material collected during investigation and surrounding circumstances.

MENS REA

Accused are deemed to intend natural and inevitable consequences of action taken is act and accurate in depicting their design intention and mens rea.

OBJECT

Object of the promulgation of the ATA is to control acts of terrorism sectarian violence and other heinous offences as defined in S.6 and their speedy trial to bring the offence with the ambit of this act it is essential to examine that offence should have nexus with the object of the act and is covered by its relevant provisions.

PLENARY JURISDICTION

Criminal cases should be trialed and decided by the courts having plenary jurisdiction until and unless extra-ordinary circumstances existed justifying the trial of the case of special court.

PRIVATE ENMITY

A case of a public servant assaulted by his private enemies for satisfaction of a private vendetta and not with object of the deterring him from his official duties does not attract provisions of the anti terrorism act 1997 and such an assault upon a public servant can be tried by a regular court.

PUBLIC SERVANT

Assaulted by his private enemies for satisfaction of private vendetta provision of ATA not attracted act of private revenge based on personal vendetta not to be treated as an act of terrorism.

RAPE IN COMMITTED IN A ROOM A HOSPITAL AT NIGHT

It is stated that neither motive nor intention for commission of the offence is relevant for the purpose of conferring jurisdiction on Anti Terrorism Court.

SCOPE

Offence committed in house ordinary court. Murder during dacoity refer case to the ATA. During trial amendment in ATA2004 trial transfer to the ATA Court.

SECTARIAN KILLING

Sectarian killing are also included in definition of terrorism contained in section 6 of anti Terrorism Act 1997 and thus an A.T.C was also possessed of requisite jurisdiction to try instant case. Sectarian killings are also included in the definition of terrorism contained in S.6 of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 and thus an Anti Terrorism Court is possessed of the requisite jurisdiction to try a case of sectarian killing.

SUSPENSION OF SENTENCE DURING APPEAL

Petitions are already served out more than one and half year of their sentences. Possibility of hearing of appeal in the near future was not within sight.

TERRORISM

Acts of the accused and the surrounding circumstances of the case can be interpreted in order to sectarian whether case falls within the ambit of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997.

section 6 of its own independent applicability and interpretation striking of error is sine qua non for the application of the provision are contained in section 6 [PL D 2009 SC11]

ultimate object and purpose of such acts is to terrorize the society or to put it under constant fear while in ordinary crimes committed due to personal vengeance/blood feud or enmity the element to create fear of sentence of insecurity in the society or public-at large term design gives wider scope to the jurisdiction of the court excluding the

intent or motive of the accused.

Target killing of a rival candidate for election of the provisional assembly sudden murder of deceased the night before the election day incident not a sudden reaction to provocation but a premeditated act.

Accused persons started firing in a Mosque chased the victim in a street and then followed them inside the complaint party s house and throughout they kept in murdered three persons and injured and another. Mere firing at one s person enemy in the backdrop of a private vendetta or design did not ipso facto bring the case within the purview of s.6 of the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 so as to brand the action as terrorism.

TERRORIST ACT AND TERRORISM DIFFERENCE

The difference between the two expression is that in the earlier definition of “Terrorist act” the mens rea or intention not playing the decisive role but in the present definition of terrorism u/s 1(5) the mens rea and intention is the deciding factor of any act referred to in sub-section (2)[PLD 2005 Kar.344]

TERRORIST ACT

When the action of accused results in striking terror or creating fear panic sensation and helplessness and sense of insecurity among the people in a particular vicinity amounts to terror which falls within the ambit s.6 of the ATA 1997.Object to promulgate the Anti Terrorism Act 1997 was to control the acts of terrorism sectarian violence and heinous offences and speedy trial to bring the offence within ambit of the act.

TRANSFER OF THE CASE FROM TERRORIST ACT?

Order passed by the anti terrorism court on petitioners transfer application reflecting same was set aside and case was transferred to the district and sessions judge concerned for entrusting same to any court of competent jurisdiction is manifest that authoritative proposition of law is while deciding applicability of section 6&7 of the act “action” is of more consideration then the designed to in the instant case a civil judge in compliance of order issued by session judge visited the places. Where détente was found confined.

The applicant being an officer of the police cannot be said to be unaware of the consequences of his deliberate actions. If sense of fear insecurity in the people at large or any section of the people or disturbance of harmony amongst different sections of the people is created said provisions will be attracted.

WHAT CONSTITUTES A TERRORIST ACT?

To constitute terrorist act it is not necessary that commission of murder must have created panic and terror among the people[PLJ2003SC506]

PUNISHMENT FOR ACTS OF TERRORISM

[(1)]whoever commits an act of terrorism under section 6,whereby

  • death of any person is caused shall be punishable on conviction with death or with imprisonment for life and with fine or

  • he does anything likely to cause death or endangers life but death or hurt is not caused shall be punishable on conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall be not less than [ten years]but may extend to[imprisonment for life] and with fine.

  • Grievous bodily harm or injury is caused to any person shall be punishable on conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than [ten years]but may extend to imprisonment for life and shall also be liable to a fine: or

  • grievous damage to property is caused shall be punishable on conviction with imprisonment of either description for a term not less than ten years[but may extend to imprisonment for life]and shall also be liable to a fine; or

  • the offence of kidnapping for ransom or hostage-taking has been committed shall be punishable on conviction with death or imprisonment for life [****]or

  • the offence of hijacking has been committed shall be punishable on conviction with death or imprisonment for life [*****]and fine.

  • The act of the terrorism committed falls under section 6(2)(ee) shall be punishable with imprisonment which shall not be less than fourteen years but may extend to imprisonment for life;

  • the act of terrorism committed falls under section 6(2)(f)and (g) shall be punishable on conviction with imprisonment of not less than [two years]and not more than [five years]and with fine; or

  • the act of terrorism committed falls under clauses (h)to (n) of sub-section 2 of section 6. shall be punishable on conviction to imprisonment of not less than five years but may extend to imprisonment for and with fine; and

  • any act of terrorism not falling under clauses (a)to (h) above or under any other provision of this act shall be punishable on conviction to imprisonment of not less than five years and not more than ten years or with fine or with both.

[(2)] An accused convicted of an offence under this act shall be punishable with imprisonment of ten years or more including the offences of kidnapping for ransom and hijacking shall also be liable to forfeiture of property.

Written by

Ad.Imrana Hanif

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