The National Security Guard Act, 1986

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The National Security Guard Act, 1986 (Act No. 47 of 1986) was enacted with the intent to make provisions as to constitution and regulation of the Armed force of India to deal with terrorism in order to protect the States against internal disturbances or internal aggression.

The first Chapter of the Act deals with specifies the short title and commencement of the Act. Further the Chapter under Section 3, deals with persons being appointed as Security Guards, are subjected to the provisions of this Act whenever, they may be officers and Assistant Commanders and Rangers and combatized tradesmen and all such persons who are being subjected to the provisions of this Act should remain under such subjection until they are ceased to be Security Guard.

The Chapter-II of the Act deals with constitution of security guard and also speaks of conditions relating to services of its members. The purpose of this chapter and also the part object of this Act is served for under Section 4, where the provisions for constitution of National Security Guard being the armed force of Union for dealing with terrorist activities for protecting the States against internal aggression is provided. Moreover, the Central Government vested with authority to have general superintendence, direction and control over Security Guard and also such command under Section 5 of the Act and supervision of Security Guard is subject to the Central Government’s authority should be vested in Director-General of Security Guard appointed by the Central Government. Similarly, the Central Government is also vested with power to appoint Additional Directors-General, Inspectors-General, Deputy Inspectors-General, Group Commanders and other officers looking to the requirement under Section 5(2) of the Act. The Act having a very wide scope as such officers or members of Security Guard is made responsible to serve not only in India but even out side Indian territory, as required under Section 6 of the Act. Further sections i.e. Section 7 to 11 of the Act are dealing with provisions as to resignation, withdrawal, term of office, termination by Central Government and dismissal, removal, etc. by Director-General.

The further provision of the Act provided under Section 12 thereof specifies that every persons being subjected to provisions of this should not, without prior written sanction of the Central Government, become the member of any union including trade, labour or political union or even can not become the member of any society which is not recognized as part of the Security Guard or if such societies are not purely social, recreational or religious one. This restriction further extends to communication to press or publishing any book, letter, etc. without required under duty.

The next Chapter i.e. Chapter III of the Act describes the various offences which the persons who are subjected to the provisions of this Act are liable and also the said provisions dealt with the trial and punishments of such offences. The examples of such offences can be given of, offences relating to terrorist and other persons in the Security Guard against nation, offence of mutiny, desertion and aiding desertion, etc.

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Likewise, Chapter IV of the Act deals with punishments which Security Guard Courts can award. The extend of punishment which such Court can impose are death punishment, life imprisonment or lesser term imprisonment not exceeding three months period’s custody under Security Guard Custody also such Court can dismiss the persons being offender under the provisions of this Act from his service or reduction of such person from his office to lower rank office or even can forfeit the seniority of rank or forfeit all or any part of service. Besides these kinds of punishments, all other punishments can be imposed by such Courts as given under the various clauses of this Section.  Moreover, the Act also empowers other officers besides empowering this Court, to inflict punishment of several kinds. The Section 51 of the Act empowers Commander of group Commander and Commander of above the said rank to proceed against an offender (being person subjected to this Act) but not an Officer or Assistant Commander and to impose punishment as described under different clauses of this Section including imprisonment, detention or confinement up to 28 days, etc. However, the power is limited under Section 52 of the Act. Further Sections specifies punishment to particular officers.

Further, Chapter V of the Act makes provisions as to arrest and trial, and also proceedings before trial of offences under the Act. The provisions as to custody of offenders, duties of Commander in case of detention, etc. are provided from Section 55 to 57 of the Act. Similarly, the provision as on arrest by civil authorities are contained under Section 58 of the Act, wherein it is specified that any Magistrate or Police officer should upon the receipt of written application from Commander, aid in apprehending and delivering offenders to the Security Guard Custody.

The are three kinds Security Guard Courts including General Security Guard Courts, Petty Security Guard Courts and Summary Security Guard Courts as per Section 61 of the Act under Chapter VI of the Act which specifies provisions about Security Guard Courts. Further, sections 62 and 63 of the Act prescribe the power to convene a General Security Guard Court and Petty Security Guard Court by given authorities. Such General Security Guard Court as per Section 65 of the Act consists of 5 members and Petty Security Guard Court as per Section 66 of the Act consists of 3 members. Similarly, Summary Security Guard Court can be held by the Commander. Further, Section 68 of the Act makes provisions as to dissolution of Security Guard Court on commencement of trial if the required minimum number of Officers reduced. And also certain situations are given under different sub sections of the Section where the Security Guard Court should be dissolved and whenever such dissolution occurs the accused to be tried again. Moreover, Sections 69, 70 and 71 of the Act provides for powers of these Courts. And Section 73 of the Act deals with period of limitation as to trial by Security Guard Court which should be 3 years from the date of commission of offence, however, this period is not applicable to the offence of desertion. Moreover, the next chapter deals with procedure of Security Guard Courts. And Chapter VIII of the Act speaks of finality of sentence only when it is confirmed as per provisions of this Act by given authorities and also speaks of revision, alteration in sentences, etc. Similarly, the next chapter deals with executing different sentences under the Act.

Moreover, the Chapter X of the Act provides miscellaneous provisions including rank structure of officers and other members of Security Guard and also deduction from pay and allowances of any such officers for absentee, etc. The last important provision of the Act empowering the Central Government to make rules as to carrying out purposes of this Act and also on the list of matters provided under the provision.

In the year 1987, the Ministry of Home Affairs, National Security Guard Section, by its Notification dates 6th August, 1987 and in exercise of powers under Section 139 of the Act, the Central Government made rules namely, The National Security Guard Rules, 1987.

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by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan