Police to be allowed to detain persons for 48-hours without court order in terrorism related cases

Security forces at the scene of an explosion outside the residence of Parliament Speaker, former President Mohamed Nasheed on May 6, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Parliament, on Monday, has passed the bill to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act which would allow Police to detain individuals arrested for investigations in terrorism-related cases for 48-hours without a court order, or being presented before the court.

The government proposed bill was submitted to the Parliament by Kurendhoo MP Abdul Ghanee Abdul Hakeem.

Amendments proposed by the government to the Act included vesting significant powers to the Police in order to ease difficulties faced in investigating terrorism-related cases.

In the report formulated by the Committee following their research of the bill – they had recommended that the time frame given to Police for the complete investigations be increased to three months. Prior to this, Police had a deadline of 45-days to complete investigations into terrorism-related cases. In this regard, the Committee had passed to allow 90-day investigations for Police in certain terrorism-related cases and situations.

In addition to this, the Committee also passed to allow Police to detain persons suspected of terrorism-related offenses for 48-hours without a court order. Prior to this, persons suspected of terrorism-related offenses were only allowed to be detained without a court order for 24-hours.

The bill also stipulates the circumstances under which an individual may be detained for 48-hours without a court order. Such persons may include those suspected of conspiring an act of terrorism, taking part in an act of terrorism, assisting or abetting in an act of terrorism, carrying weapons used at war, or taking part in sending people to war.

Moreover, the bill also stipulates actions that can be taken against those who go to war, as well as how to enhance the rehabilitation system of those who return from war.