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National Investigation Agency

  • Category
    Security
  • Published
    27th Jun, 2019

In a bid to empower the National Investigation Agency, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to amend the NIA Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Context

In a bid to empower the National Investigation Agency, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to amend the NIA Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

About

More on news:

  • The amendments will bolster the National Investigation Agency (NIA), increasing the ambit and scope of its investigations in India and abroad. The proposed bills are likely to be introduced in the Parliament in the current session.
  • This development is significant as the investigation agency is closely monitoring the development of Islamic State (IS) modules especially in the wake of the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka that left 11 Indians dead.
  • The agency has also been probing terror funding in Jammu and Kashmir and had gathered damning evidence of Pakistan's involvement in the unrest in Kashmir.

 

Details of the amendment

 

  • New offences, including cases of cyber-terrorism registered under the Section 66F of the Information Technology Act, and Human-trafficking crimes under Sections 370 and 371 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), have been added to the schedule of the NIA act in the draft NIA (Amendment) Bill.
  • Cases of human-trafficking often have inter-state and international connections.
  • Amendment to Schedule 4 of UAPA will allow the agency to designate an individual suspected to have terror links, as a terrorist. Currently, only organisations can be declared as 'terrorist organisations'.
  • It will enable the government to declare Hafiz Saeed, the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and Mumbai attack mastermind, and Masood Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, as "individual terrorists".
  • Banning of individual terrorists under the UAPA act will strengthen India's request to all nations and financial institutions to add them to their blacklist and impose travel bans on them.
  • Proposed amendment will empower the agency to take up cases of terror incidents against India or Indians abroad, although any investigation of the foreign soil will have to be with the cooperation of the host nation.
  • It will allow the agency to carry out searches in a state, without the consent of Director General of Police (DGP). While it is not mandatory for the agency to take prior permission from the DGP even now, the NIA does so when a law-and-order situation is anticipated.

 National Investigation Agency (NIA)

  • It is a central agency, came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 by the Parliament of India on 31 December 2008.
  • It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. (NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was realised.)
  • The Agency has been empowered to conduct investigation and prosecution of offences under the Acts specified in the Schedule of the NIA Act.
  • A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offences as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act.
  • Central Government can also order NIA to take over investigation of any scheduled offense anywhere in the India.
  • Officers of the NIA who are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service, Indian Police Service, state police, Income Tax as well as officers from the Central Armed Police Forces, have all powers, privileges and liabilities which the police officers have in connection with investigation of any offense.

 

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