Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA)
POTA is the acronym for the Prevention of Terrorism Act. It was passed by the Indian Parliament in 2002 in response to many terrorist attacks carried out on Indian soil, especially the 2001 Parliament attack.
The Act laid down what could be considered a ‘terrorist act’ and who could be termed a ‘terrorist’. The Act also gave special powers to investigating authorities governed by the act. There were safeguards also built into the Act to make sure that the discretionary powers accorded to the agencies were not misused, and that human rights were not violated. POTA did not sanction preventive detention, and decisions on bail petitions and the verdicts of the special courts formed under this act could be appealed against to a high court division bench which had jurisdiction over the respective case.