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Home > Human Rights & Humanitarian Law > Armed Conflict & the Law > What is Terrorism? - Law & Practise > Terrorism: Indian Law & Practise > LTTE Appeal Against Procedure Adopted by the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal > India & the Tamil Eelam Freedom Struggle
Terrorism: Indian Law & Practise
On this 28th Day of August 1992
The Submission of the abovenamed 2nd Respondent (hereinafter referred to as the International Secretariat) to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal states as follows:
1. By a signed notice dated 1 July 1992 addressed inter alia to the above named 2nd Respondent, the Registrar of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal stated as follows:
2. In response to the above mentioned notice which was served on the abovenamed 2nd Respondent, the International Secretariat showed cause and made its written statement, dated the 6th August 1992, to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal.
3. In its statement, the International Secretariat denied that the Central Government of India had jurisdiction in law to make the above mentioned declaration in relation to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (hereinafter referred to as the LTTE) under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and submitted that the said declaration was null, void and inoperative in law.
4. The International Secretariat further stated that the LTTE was a combatant in an armed conflict in the island of Sri Lanka; that the Sri Lankan Government had sought to establish its oppressive rule over the Tamil people through genocidal measures; that the combatant status of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam has been recognised in international law and in international fora; and that furthermore, the combatant status of the LTTE was specifically recognised by the Central Government of India both at the Thimpu Talks in 1985 and again in the Indo Sri Lanka Agreement of 1987.
5. The International Secretariat submitted that the LTTE was not an association within the jurisdiction of the territorial limits of the Central Government of India, that in any event it was not an association within the meaning of that expression in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 and that accordingly the Central Government of India had no power in law to make an order in relation to the LTTE under the provisions of Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
6. The International Secretariat also stated that the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 which define 'unlawful activity' in relation to an individual or association to mean "any action taken by such individual or association (whether by committing an act or by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representation or otherwise) which is intended, inter alia, to bring about, on any ground whatsoever, the cession of a part of the territory of India," are in any event, a clear violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression secured by the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, and by international law, and enshrined in the Indian Constitution as well. The International Secretariat stated that these provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act are not only ultra vires the Indian Constitution, but also offend the peremptory norms of international law, and that accordingly, for these reasons as well, the order made under section 3 was null, void and inoperative in law.
7. Finally, without prejudice to the foregoing, the International Secretariat stated that the objective of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to secure the right of self determination of the people of Tamil Eelam, cannot in any event be regarded, in law, as an unlawful activity within the meaning of that expression in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967; and the International Secretariat denied that the objective of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is to disrupt the sovereignty and/or territorial integrity of India and that it further denied that the LTTE had engaged in any activity whatsoever whether directly or indirectly to support that end.
9. The International Secretariat submits that having served a notice dated 1st July 1992 under Sub Section (2) of Section (4) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967 on the International Secretariat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam at 54 Tavistock Place, London and having received a response dated 6th August 1992 from the International Secretariat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the decision of the Tribunal to proceed to further inquiry without notice to the International Secretariat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam is a breach of the 'audi alteram partem' rule and that such breach of a fundamental principle of natural justice renders the contemplated further proceedings before the Tribunal null and void in law.
Sgd: Lawrence Thilagar
Signed for and on behalf of