As many as 44 senior officers of the central, state and Union Territory governments, besides entities like the RBI and SEBI, have been designated as nodal authority for seizure of funds and other financial assets held by those supporting or engaged in terrorism, officials said on Wednesday.
According to an official memorandum, the nodal officers were designated for the implementation of Section 51A of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Section 51A of the UAPA says that for the prevention of, and for coping with terrorist activities, the Central government shall have power to: (a) freeze, seize or attach funds and other financial assets or economic resources held by, on behalf of or at the direction of the individuals or entities listed in the Schedule to the Order, or any other person engaged in or suspected to be engaged in terrorism.
(b) Prohibit any individual or entity from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources or related services available for the benefit of the individuals or entities listed in the Schedule to the Order or any other person engaged in or suspected to be engaged in terrorism.
(c) Prevent the entry into or the transit through India of individuals listed in the Schedule to the Order or any other person engaged in or suspected to be engaged in terrorism.
The 44 nodal officers were designated to help law enforcement agencies to seize funds and other financial assets held by anyone engaged in terrorism or supporting such violent acts, a Home Ministry official told PTI.
The designated nodal officers belong to the ministries of Home and External Affairs, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), all state and union territory governments.
Anti-terror probe agency NIA has seized a number of properties belonging to Kashmiri separatist leaders in recent years and those who were found to have supported insurgency with illicit money in the Northeast, including an MLA.
Similarly, different state police forces have also attached funds and properties of people supporting terrorism in the past.