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THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT, 2002

Title : THE PREVENTION OF TERRORISM ACT, 2002

Year : 2002



In this Chapter, unless the context otherwise requires,

(a) "Electronic communication" means any transmission of signs, signals, writings, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system that affects inland or foreign commerce but does not include

(i) The radio portion of a cordless telephone communication that is transmitted between the wireless telephone hand-set and the base unit; or

(ii) Any wire or oral communication; or

(iii) Any communication made through a tone only paging device; or

(iv) Any communication from a tracking device;

(b) "Intercept" means the aural or other acquisition of the contents by wire, electronic or oral communication through the use of any electronic, mechanical or other device;

(c) "Oral communication" means any oral communication uttered by a person exhibiting an expectation that such communication is not subject to interception under circumstances justifying such expectation but such term does not include any electronic communication;

(d) "Wire communication" means any aural transmission made in whole or part through the use of facilities for the transmission of communications by the aid of wire, cable or other like connection between the point of origin and the point of connection, between the point of origin and the point of reception (including the use of such connection in switching station) and such term includes any electronic storage of such communication.



The Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, may appoint an officer not below the rank of Secretary to the Government in the case of State Government and not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government in the case of Central Government, to be the Competent Authority for the purposes of this Chapter.


 
(1) A police officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police supervising the investigation of any terrorist act under this Act may submit an application in writing to the Competent Authority for an order authorising or approving the interception of wire, electronic or oral communication by the investigating officer when he believes that such interception may provide, or has provided evidence of any offence involving a terrorist act.

(2) Each application shall include the following information:

(a) The identity of the investigating officer making the application, and the head of the department authorising the application;

(b) A statement of the facts and circumstances relied upon by the applicant to justify his belief that an order should be issued, including;

(i) Details as to the offence of terrorist act that has been, is being, or is about to be committed;

(ii) A particular description of the nature and location of the facilities from which or the place where the communication is to be intercepted;

(iii) A particular description of the type of communications sought to be intercepted; and

(iv) The identity of the person, if known, committing the terrorist act whose communications are to be intercepted;

(c) A statement of the period of time for which the interception is required to be maintained, if the nature of the enquiry is such that the authorisation of interception should not automatically terminate after the described type of communication has been first obtained;

(d) A particular description of facts establishing probable cause to believe that additional communications of the same type will occur thereafter; and

(e) Where the application is for the extension of an order, a statement setting forth the results thus far obtained from the interception, or a reasonable explanation of the failure to obtain such results.

(3) The Competent Authority may require the applicant to furnish additional oral or documentary evidence in support of the application.



(1) Upon such application, the Competent Authority may reject the application, or issue an order, as requested or as modified, authorising or approving interception of wire, electronic or oral communications, if the Competent Authority determines on the basis of the facts submitted by the applicant that;

(a) There is a probable cause for belief that an individual is committing, has committed, or is about to commit, a particular offence described and made punishable under sections 3 and 4 of this Act;

(b) There is a probable cause of belief that particular communications concerning that offence may be obtained through such interception;

(c) There is probable cause of belief that the facilities from which, or the place where, the wire, electronic or oral communications are to be intercepted are being used or are about to be used, in connection with the commission of such offence, leased to, or are listed in, the name of or commonly used by such person.

(2) Each order by the Competent Authority authorising or approving the interception of any wire, electronic or oral communication under this section shall specify-

(a) The identity of the person, if known, whose communications are to be intercepted;

(b) The nature and location of the communication facilities as to which, or the place where, authority to intercept is granted;

(c) A particular description of the type of communication sought to be intercepted, and a statement of the particular offence to which it relates;

(d) The identity of the agency authorised to intercept the communications, and the person authorising the application; and

(e) The period of time during which such interception is authorised, including a statement as to whether or not the interception shall automatically terminate after the described communication has been first obtained.



(1) The Competent Authority shall, immediately after passing the order under sub-section (1) of section 39, but in any case not later than seven days from the passing of the order, submit a copy of the same to the Review Committee constituted under section 60 alongwith all the relevant underlying papers, record and his own findings, in respect of the said order, for consideration and approval of the order by the Review Committee.

(2) An order authorising the interception of a wire, electronic or oral communication under this section shall, upon request of the applicant, direct that a provider of wire or electronic communication service, landlord, custodian or other person shall furnish to the applicant forthwith all information, facilities and technical assistance necessary to accomplish the interception unobtrusively and with a minimum of interference with the services that such service provider, landlord, custodian or person is providing to the person whose communications are to be intercepted.



(1) No order issued under this section may authorise or approve the interception of any wire, electronic or oral communication for any period longer than is necessary to achieve the objective of the authorisation, nor in any event longer than sixty days and such sixty days period shall begin on the day immediately preceding the day on which the investigating officer first begins to conduct an interception under the order or ten days after order is issued whichever is earlier.

(2) The extension of an order may be granted, but only upon an application for an extension made in accordance with sub-section (1) of section 38 and the Competent Authority making the findings required by sub-section (1) of section 39, and the period of such extension shall be no longer than the Competent Authority deems necessary to achieve the purposes for which it was granted and in no event for longer than sixty days at a time.

(3) Every order and extension thereof shall contain a provision that the authorisation to intercept shall be executed as soon as practicable and shall be conducted in such manner as to minimise the interception of communications not otherwise subject to interception under this section and shall terminate upon attainment of the authorised objective, or in any event on the expiry of the period of said order or extension thereof.



(1) An interception under this Chapter may be conducted in whole or in part by a public servant, acting under the supervision of the investigating officer authorised to conduct the interception.

(2) Whenever an order authorising an interception is issued pursuant to this section, the order may require reports to be made to the Competent Authority who issued the order showing that progress has been made towards achievement of the authorised objective and the need for continued interception and such report shall be made at such intervals as the Competent Authority may require.



(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in any other provision of this Chapter, an officer not below the rank of Additional Director General of Police or a police officer of equivalent rank who reasonably determines that-

(a) An emergency situation exists that involves-

(i) Immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person; or

(ii) Conspiratorial activities threatening the security or interest of the State; or

(iii) Conspiratorial activities, characteristic of a terrorist act, that requires a wire, electronic or oral communication to be intercepted before an order from the Competent Authority authorising such interception can, with due diligence, be obtained; and

(b) There are grounds on which an order should be issued under this section to authorise such interception, may authorise, in writing, the investigating officer to intercept such wire, electronic or oral communication, if an application for an order approving the interception is made in accordance with the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2) of section 38 within forty-eight hours after the interception has occurred, or begins to occur.

(2) In the absence of an order approving the interception made under sub-section (1), such interception shall immediately terminate when the communication sought is obtained or when the application for the order is rejected, whichever is earlier; and in the event of an application for permitting interception being rejected under sub-section (1) of section 39 or an application under subsection (1) of this section for approval being rejected, or in any other case where the interception is terminated without an order having been issued, the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication intercepted shall be treated as having been obtained in violation of this section.



(1) The contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication intercepted by any means authorised by this Chapter shall, as far as possible, be recorded on tape or wire or other comparable device and shall be done in such manner as to protect the recording from editing or other alterations.

(2) Immediately upon the expiration of the period of order, or extension thereof, such recording shall be made available to the Competent Authority issuing such order and shall be sealed under his directions and kept in the custody of such person or authority as the Competent Authority orders, and such recordings shall not be destroyed except upon an order of the Competent Authority and in any event shall be kept for ten years.

(3) Applications made and orders issued under this Chapter shall be sealed by the Competent Authority and custody of the applications and orders shall be kept in such manner as the Competent Authority directs, and shall not be destroyed except on an order of the Competent Authority, and in any event shall be kept for ten years.



Notwithstanding anything in the Code or in any other law for the time being in force, the evidence collected through the interception of wire, electronic or oral communication under this Chapter shall be admissible as evidence against the accused in the Court during the trial of a case:

Provided that, the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication intercepted pursuant to this Chapter or evidence derived therefrom shall not be received in evidence or otherwise disclosed in any trial, hearing or other proceeding in any court unless each accused has been furnished with a copy of the order of the Competent Authority, and accompanying application, under which the interception was authorised or approved not less than ten days before trial, hearing or proceeding:

Provided further
that, the period of ten days may be waived by the judge trying the matter, if he comes to the conclusion that it was not possible to furnish the accused with the above information ten days before the trial, hearing or proceeding and that the accused will not be prejudiced by the delay in receiving such information.



(1) The Review Committee constituted by the Central Government or the State Government, as the case may be, shall review every order passed by the Competent Authority under section 39.

(2) Every order passed by the Competent Authority under section 39, or disapproved by the officer under section 43, shall be placed before the Review Committee, which shall be considered by the Review Committee within ten days after its receipt, to decide whether the order was necessary, reasonable and justified.

(3) The Review Committee, after examining the entire record and holding such enquiry, if any, deemed necessary may, by order in writing, either approve the order passed by the Competent Authority or may issue order disapproving the same.

(4) On issue of an order of disapproval by the Review Committee, the interception, if any, already commenced shall be forthwith discontinued and the intercepted communication, if any, in the form of tape, wire or other device shall, thereupon, not be admissible as evidence in any case and shall be directed to be destroyed.



Except as otherwise specifically provided in section 39, any police officer who-

(a) Intentionally intercepts, endeavours to intercept, or procures any other person to intercept or endeavour to intercept any wire, electronic or oral communication;

(b) Intentionally uses, endeavours to use, or procures any other person to use or endeavours to use any electronic, mechanical or other device to intercept any oral communication when-

(i) Such device is affixed to, or otherwise transmits a signal through a wire, cable, or other like connection used in wire communication; or

(ii) Such device transmits communications by radio, or interferes with the transmission of such communication;

(c) Intentionally discloses, or endeavours to disclose, to any other person the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic or oral communication in violation of this Chapter;

(d) Intentionally uses, or endeavours to use, the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication, knowing or having reason to know that the information was obtained through the interception of a wire, electronic or oral communication in violation of this Chapter;

(e) Intentionally discloses, or endeavours to disclose, to any other unauthorised person the contents of any wire, electronic or oral communication, intercepted by means authorised by section 39;

(f) Intentionally continues the interception of wire, electronic or oral communication after the issue of an order of rejection by the Competent Authority under this Chapter;

(g) Intentionally continues the interception of wire, electronic or oral communication after the issue of an order of disapproval by the Review Committee under sub-section (3) of section 46, shall for such violation be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine up to rupees fifty thousand.



(1) The Central Government and the State Government, as the case may be, shall cause an annual report to be prepared giving a full account of-

(a) The number of applications for authorisation of interceptions received by the Competent Authority from the Police Department in which prosecutions have been launched;

(b) The number of such applications permitted or rejected;

(c) The number of interceptions carried out in emergency situations and the number of approvals granted or rejected in such matters;

(d) The number of prosecutions launched based on such interceptions and convictions resulting from such interceptions, along with an explanatory memorandum giving general assessment of the utility and importance of the interceptions authorised.

(2) An annual report shall be laid by the State Government before the State Legislature within three months of the completion of every calendar year:

Provided that, if the State Government is of the opinion that the inclusion of any matter in the annual report would be prejudicial to the security of the State or to the prevention or detection of any terrorist act, the State Government may exclude such matter from being included in such annual report.

(3) An annual report shall be laid by the Central Government before each House of Parliament within three months of the completion of every calendar year: Provided that, if the Central Government is of the opinion that the inclusion of any matter in the annual report would be prejudicial to the security of the country or to the prevention or detection of any terrorist act, the Central Government may exclude such matter from being included in such annual report.
Last updated on July, 2016

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