The Lok Sabha on 15 July 2019 passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill seeks to broaden the NIA’s powers and can be seen as part of NDA's policy of zero tolerance against terrorism. The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack which had claimed 166 lives.
 
 
What  
  1. The bill provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in a schedule (scheduled offences). Further, it allows for creation of Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. The bill was in national interest as it gives more power to the investigative body.
  2. NIA has been doing a good work and secured conviction in over 90% of cases. It has so far registered 272 cases out of which judgment has been delivered in 52. 
Scheduled offences
  1. The schedule to the Act specifies a list of offences which are to be investigated and prosecuted by the NIA.  
  2. These include offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.  
  3. The Bill seeks to allow the NIA to investigate the following offences, in addition: (i) human trafficking, (ii) offences related to counterfeit currency or bank notes, (iii) manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, (iv) cyber-terrorism, and (v) offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.       
Jurisdiction of the NIA
  1. The Act provides for the creation of the NIA to investigate and prosecute offences specified in the schedule.  
  2. The officers of the NIA have the same powers as other police officers in relation to investigation of such offences, across India.  
  3. The Bill states that in addition, officers of the NIA will have the power to investigate scheduled offences committed outside India, subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries. 
  4.  The central government may direct the NIA to investigate such cases, as if the offence has been committed in India. The Special Court in New Delhi will have jurisdiction over these cases.
 
[printfriendly]