Sunday 2nd Oct 2022
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National Security

National Security Bill submitted to Parliament

A National Security Bill that mandates that Parliament approval must be sought if military personnel of any nation were to stay in the country, has been sent to the Parliament.
The bill is sponsored by Maduvvaree Constituency Member of Parliament Adam Shareef Umar.
The purpose of the bill is to defend the nation’s security and implement laws that protects national security. It also mandates the formation of a National Security Council and a National Intelligence Committee.
MP Adam Shareef said that bill was apt for the current status and for national security in future as well. The bill describes what national security is and 13 instances where national security would be at risk.
This includes loss of sovereignty or independence to a foreign country’s political, economic, and military interference. The bill also states that it is a national security risk if any foreign military personnel are stationed in the country, without express permission from the Parliament.
Furthermore, it states that any peaceful movement based on constitutionally granted rights that does not violate other laws and regulations, cannot be deemed a national security risk.
This clause directly combats the Presidential decree issued in April that had criminalized the India Out movement. The movement was criminalized citing national security. The law is not clear on what is deemed as a national security risk.
The bill also states that any action that creates disharmony towards Islam, creates divide and hampers election integrity as national security risks. Media attempts to clarify information on a national security risk cannot be deemed as spying, the bill added.
Any attempts to endanger national security, whether successful or not, is a crime. The bill seeks a jail term of five to 15 years as punishment. Failure to report any potential national security risks is also a criminal offense. Failure to disclose could earn a jail sentence of one to five years in jail. Any counter-espionage attempts is also criminalized – a sentence of five to seven years would be in effect, in proven guilty.