NATIONAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY

Prelims level : Polity & Governance- Institutional Reforms, Security Mains level : GS III - Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.
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Why in News?

  •  A Bill seeking to further strengthen the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by giving it powers to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests on foreign soil was introduced in Lok Sabha. Legislation will also allow the NIA probe cyber-crimes and cases of human trafficking.

NIA:

  • The NIA was created by an Act of the Parliament of India on December 31, 2008 following Mumbai Terror Attack of November 2008.
  • According to the NIA Act, the Agency is an investigation agency at the national level to investigate and prosecute offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, security of State, friendly relations with foreign States and offences under Acts enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto for investigation and prosecution of offences affecting sovereignty, security and integrity of India. NIA plays the role of the national counter terrorism law enforcement agency.
  • The NIA was established in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation and prosecution. Hence, it was “not an Agency to deal with offences under all the laws”, but “with only eight laws”:
  • The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962);
  •  The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967);
  • The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 (65 of 1982);
  •  The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 (66 of 1982);
  • The SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1993 (36 of 1993);
  •  The Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 (69 of 2002);
  • The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005 (21 of 2005);
  • Offences under— Chapter VI of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) [sections 121 to 130 (both inclusive)]; Sections 489-A to 489-E (both inclusive) of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
  • Under two circumstances the NIA takes up a case “to investigate and prosecute offences”.
  •  It could be on reference from the State where a Scheduled offence has taken place. On receipt of report from the State Government, the Central Government shall determine on the basis of information made available by the State Government or received from other sources, within 15 days from the date of receipt of the report, whether the offence is a fit case to be investigated by the NIA.
  • The Central Government may also, suo motu, direct the Agency to investigate a Scheduled offence if it is of the opinion that the offence is required to be investigated under the NIA Act.
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