Day 95 – Q 1.What is the mandate of the National Investigation Agency (NIA)? Do you think India’s federal polity creates a hinderance in the effective working of the NIA?
1. What is the mandate of the National Investigation Agency (NIA)? Do you think India’s federal polity creates a hinderance in the effective working of the NIA?
राष्ट्रीय जांच एजेंसी (NIA) का जनादेश क्या है? क्या आपको लगता है कि भारत की संघीय राजनीति एनआईए के प्रभावी काम में बाधा पैदा करती है?
Due to complex inter-State and international linkages, and possible connection with other activities like the smuggling of arms and drugs, pushing in and circulation of fake Indian currency, infiltration from across the borders, etc ,there felt a need for setting up of an Agency at the Central level.
After 26/11 Mumbai attack, government enacted NIA act on 31st December 2008 which gave birth to national Investigation agency which is presently functioning as premier central counter terrorism law enforcement agency in India.
Mandate of the National Investigation Agency
- To investigate serious offences related to terrorist activities affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of the Country.
- To investigate terror crimes relating to Indians and Indian interests abroad.
- To investigate and prosecute offences against atomic and nuclear facilities.
- The NIA (Amendment) Act, 2019 gave additional mandate to NIA to investigate the offences related to Human trafficking, Offences related to counterfeit currency or banknotes, Manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, Cyber-terrorism, and Offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
Although States machinery has helped in free and fast investigation by NIA, Amendment in NIA act has steered certain debate. The State of Chhattisgarh had filed a suit under Article 131 challenging the NIA Act itself.
- Issue with division of power: Although ‘national security’ security comes under central list and criminal laws come under concurrent list, NIA directing polices forces does not go well with sates as maintenance of public order and police forces come under state list.
- Politicization: It has been repeatedly seen that the functioning of the investigation and prosecution agencies depend on political mandate. This raises serious doubts on the credibility on national institutions.
- Undue Delay: NIA act does not compel state government to provide report on a Scheduled Offence to Central government in a short or fixed interval, this may cause undue delays.
- Limiting scope: The NIA is not empowered to investigate a number of interstate and trans-national crimes that require a national response such as organized crime. The limitation in scope was due to fear of state’s opposition. For example, Amendments to NIA Act have been opposed by states like Chhattisgarh.
Given the increase in global terrorism, it is the responsibility of the Parliament to build a strong image of the NIA in front of the world. States and Centre should cooperate to build a strong, independent and powerful institution.