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National Investigation Agency

• National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India. NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was realised.
• It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
• The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
• The founding Director-General of NIA was Radha Vinod Raju, and he served till 31 January 2010.
• The agency aims to match the best international standards in counter terrorism and other national security related investigations at the national level by developing into a highly trained, partnership oriented workforce.
• Apart from covering offences that are challenges to the sovereignty and integrity of the country, it also probes counterfeit currency, human trafficking, organized crime, violations of atomic energy act etc.

Functioning of NIA:

• To curb various aspects of terrorist financing, a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) has been created in the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
• The Cell maintains data base of terror financing and cases of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).
• It also conducts part investigation into terror financing aspects of regular cases investigated by the NIA. For terror financing aspects of Naxalite groups operating in various parts of India, the TFFC Cell has conducted a number of verifications of bank accounts suspected to be linked with naxalite groups.

Special NIA Courts:

• Various Special Courts have been established under Section 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008 for trail of the cases registered at various police stations of National Investigation Agency.
• The Central Government has the power to constitute one or more Special NIA courts in an area. As of now, there are 38 Special NIA Courts.
• The Special NIA Courts are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region.

Powers of the Special Courts:

• As per the NIA Act, 2008, the NIA Special Courts have all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
• Trials conducted by the Special NIA Courts have precedence over the trail of any other case against the accused in any other court.

Practice question:

1. National Investigation Agency Act is applicable to which of the following areas?
1. It extends to whole of India except J&K.
2. It extends to citizens of India outside India.
3. It extends to persons on ships and aircrafts registered in India wherever they may be.

Codes:

a) 1 and 2

b) 2 and 3

c) 1 and 3

d) All

Ans: b
Exp: It extends to the whole of India and it applies also— (a) to citizens of India outside India; (b) to persons in the service of the Government wherever they may be; and (c) to persons on ships and aircrafts registered in India wherever they may be.

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