What is the Enemy Agents Ordinance?

June 25, 2024

Recently, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) said those found assisting militants in J&K should be tried by investigating agencies under the Enemy Agents Ordinance, 2005.

About Enemy Agents Ordinance:


  • The J&K Enemy Agents Ordinance was first issued in 1917 by the then Dogra Maharaja of J&K. It is referred to as an ‘ordinance’ since laws made during the Dogra rule were called ordinances.
  • After Partition in 1947, the ordinance was incorporated as a law in the erstwhile state and was also amended.
  • In 2019, when Article 370 of the Constitution was repealed, J&K’s legal framework also underwent several changes.
  • Punishments
    • According to the ordinance, “whosoever is an enemy agent or, with an intent to aid the enemy, conspires with any other person to any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the enemy or to impede the military or air operations of Indian forces or to endanger life or is guilty of incendiarism shall be punishable with death or rigorous imprisonment for life or with rigorous imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine”.

How are trials conducted under ordinance?

  • Trials are conducted by a special judge who is appointed by the “government in consultation with the High Court”.
  • Under the ordinance, the accused cannot engage a lawyer to defend herself unless permitted by the court.
  • There is no provision for appeal against the verdict, and the decision of the special judge can only be reviewed “by a person chosen by the Government from the judges of the High Court and the decision of that person shall be final”.
  • The ordinance also bars any disclosure or publication of the case tried under it.
    • “Any person who, without the previous authorisation of the Government, discloses or publishes any information with respect to any proceedings or with respects to any person proceeded against under this Ordinance, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both,’’