- July 4, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Section: National organization
Context: NIA takes over Udaipur case
- NIA was constituted under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 as the aftermath of the Mumbai Terror attack of 2008.The agency came into existence on December 31, 2008, and started its functioning in 2009. Till date, the NIA has registered 447 cases
- The National Investigation Agency (NIA) acts as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is authorised to investigate any terror-related matter across the country without special permission of the states.
- It is a central agency mandated to investigate all the offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign states, and the offences under the statutory laws enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations. These include terror acts and their possible links with crimes like smuggling of arms, drugs and fake Indian currency and infiltration from across the borders
- Headquartered in Delhi, the NIA has its branches in Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur, Jammu, Chandigarh, Ranchi, Chennai, Imphal, Bengaluru and Patna
What are the scheduled offences?
The list includes the Explosive Substances Act, Atomic Energy Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Anti-Hijacking Act, Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act and relevant offences under the Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Information Technology Act. In September 2020, the Centre empowered the NIA to also probe offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act that are connected to terror case.
The various features or provisions of the NIA (Amendment) ACT, 2019 are as follows:
- It applied the provisions of the NIA Act also to persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India.
- It provided that the officers of the NIA shall have the similar powers, duties, privies and liabilities being exercised by the police officers in connection with the investigation of offences, not only in India but also outside India.
- It empowered the central government, with respect to a scheduled offence committed outside India, to direct the NIA to register the case and take up investigation as if such offence had taken place in India.
- It provided that the central government and the state governments may designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for conducting the trial of offences under the NIA Act.
- The NIA was empowered to probe cases of cyber terrorism under the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, passed by Parliament in July 2019.
Jurisdiction of NIA
The law under which the agency operates extends to the whole of India and also applies to Indian citizens outside the country; persons in the service of the government wherever they are posted; persons on ships and aircraft registered in India wherever they may be; persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against the Indian citizen or affecting the interest of India.
- It inserted certain new offences in the Schedule of the NIA Act. Consequently, the NIA is also empowered to probe the offences relating to
- human trafficking,
- counterfeit currency or bank notes,
- manufacture or sale of prohibited arms,
- cyber-terrorism and
- Explosive substances.
How does the NIA take up a probe?
As provided under Section 6 of the Act, State governments can refer the cases pertaining to the scheduled offences registered at any police station to the Central government (Union Home Ministry)for NIA investigation. After assessing the details made available, the Centre can then direct the agency to take over the case. State governments are required to extend all assistance to the NIA. Even when the Central government is of the opinion that a scheduled offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under the Act, it may, suo motu, direct the agency to take up/over the probe. Where the Central government finds that a scheduled offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends, it can also direct the NIA to register the case and take up investigation. While investigating any scheduled offence, the agency can also investigate any other offence which the accused is alleged to have committed if the offence is connected to the scheduled offence