Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act

The word harbours used in TADA must be understood in its ordinary meaning as for penal provisions. It is therefore reasonable to attribute a mental element (such as knowledge that the harboured person was involved in a terrorist act) as indispensable to make it a penal act. That apart, there is nothing in the Act, either expressly or even by implication, to indicate that means rea has been excluded from the offence

A juristic entity which could not have mens rea cannot be prosecuted and convicted. There is no question of company to have had the mens rea even if any terrorist was allowed to occupy the rooms in the Hotel The company is not a natural person. In many recent penal statutes, companies or corporations are deemed to be offenders on the strength of the acts committed by persons responsible for the management or affairs of such company or corporations e.g. Essential Commodities Act, Prevention of Food Adulteration Act etc. But there is no such provision in TADA which makes the company liable for the acts of its officers. (See Kalpnath Rai v. State (through CBI), 1998 CrLJ 369: AIR 1998 SC 201 : 1998 SCC (Cr) 134 : 1998 CAR 33 : 1997(4) Crimes 227 : 1997(4) Rec CrR 788)

About Sandeep Bhalla

A lawyer, thinker, author, Linux/Ubuntu power user and sometime an economist or gardener or philosopher or cook or photographer depending upon the current thought and environment. View all posts by Sandeep Bhalla

2 responses to “Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act