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Topic – Statutory and Non Statutory Bodies

  • Mission of NIA:
  • to conduct thorough professional investigations into the scheduled offences utilising the most recent investigative scientific techniques.
  • upholding the Indian Constitution and the law.
  • Protection of human rights and respect for individual dignity are of utmost significance.
  • by providing regular training and exposure to the latest practises and processes, creating a competent staff.
  • ensuring a quick and efficient trial.
  • In accordance with the NIA Act’s legal requirements, maintaining respectful and professional relationships with the governments of States, Union Territories, and other law enforcement organisations.
  • help in the investigation of terrorist cases by all States and other investigating bodies.
  • Create a database of all information relating to terrorists and make it accessible to the States and other agencies.
  • Study and examine terrorism-related legislation in other nations. Regularly assess the suitability of Indian legislation. Propose amendments as required.
  • A need for NIA:
  • The smuggling of drugs and weapons, the trafficking of phoney Indian currency, and other organised crime activities are just examples of the complicated inter-State and worldwide links that are discovered to exist between the terrorist occurrences.
  • After the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks, a central body was established to look into crimes relating to terrorism and other Acts.
  • NIA’s mandate:
  • In accordance with section VI of the NIA Act, 2008, the cases are given to the NIA by the Central Government.
  • The Agency conducts an independent investigation into each matter.
  • The NIA Special Court is then presented with the cases following an investigation.
  • The Agency requests permission from the Central Government to prosecute the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 (UAPA) and a few other listed offences.
  • According to section 45 (2) of the UAPA, the “Authority” was established, and its report served as the basis for the censure.
  • It has the authority to handle terrorism-related offences in all states without the states’ consent.
  • Smuggling and Funding of Terrorism:
  • The High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Currency Smuggling Offenses are now covered within the definition of terrorism under the NIA Act’s revisions.
  • A Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) has been established in the NIA to combat several facets of terrorist financing.
  • The Cell keeps track of cases of fake Indian currency notes and financing for terrorism in its database (FICN).
  • The TFFC also looks into the financing of terrorism components of routine cases that the NIA looks into.
  • The TFFC Cell checks the suspects’ bank accounts who have ties to Naxalite organisations.
  • To properly handle instances involving the financing of terrorism by Naxalite organisations, there is a dedicated Left Wing Extremism (LWE) squad.
  • The staffing, financial, and infrastructure needs of NIA are periodically reviewed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
  • Recent Change:
  • Parliament approved the NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which modifies the original Act of 2008.
  • The Bill aims to provide the NIA authority to look into the new offences listed below:
  • Trafficking in people
  • crimes with fake cash or banknotes
  • production or sale of a prohibited weapon
  • Cyber-terrorism, and
  • Explosive Substances Act of 1908 offences
  • The NIA’s authority:
  • In relation to the investigation of such offences, NIA personnel in India have the same authority as other police officers.
  • In accordance with international agreements and national laws of other nations, the NIA’s officers will have the authority to look into scheduled offences committed outside of India.
  • The NIA may be instructed by the central government to examine these cases as if the crime had been committed in India.
  • These matters will fall within the purview of the Special Court in New Delhi.
  • Special Courts:
  • In accordance with Sections 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008, the Central Government establishes one or more Special Courts for the trial of Scheduled Offenses.
  • A judge to be selected by the Central Government on the suggestion of the Chief Justice of the High Court would preside over the Special Court.
  • On the proposal of the Chief Justice of the High Court, the Central Government may, if necessary, appoint one or more additional judges to the Special Court.
  • Special Courts’ Authority:
  • According to the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, Special Courts have all the authority of a court of sessions.
  • Any time there is a doubt about a Special Court’s authority, it must be brought to the attention of the Central Government, whose judgement is definitive.
  • In some unusual instances where it is not possible to conduct a quiet, fair, impartial, and quick trial, the Supreme Court may transfer a case currently ongoing before a Special Court to any other Special Court within that State or any other State.
  • Similar to that, the High Court has the authority to transfer an ongoing matter from one Special Court in a State to another Special Court in that State.
  • Recent Amendments Have Problems:
  • The upkeep of public order and police forces are considered matters of state list under schedule VII of the Constitution.
  • Criminal law is included in the concurrent list, although national security is listed under the domains of the union.
  • The NIA is given the power to lead investigations into crimes including claims of human trafficking, offences under the Explosives Act, and specific offences under the Arms Act by the Central government.
  • Nevertheless, not all of the criminal offences under the aforementioned act pose a risk to the nation’s security or sovereignty, and as a result, nations are competent to deal with them.
  • The Information Technology Act’s Section 66F is added to the Schedule listing offences by the Amendment Bill.
  • Cyberterrorism is included in Section 66F.
  • However, neither a data protection laws nor a concept of cyber terrorism exist in India.
  • The NIA Act has been amended to allow the organization to look into crimes against Indian citizens or those “affecting the interest of India.”
  • However, “affecting the interest of India” is a vague phrase that can be abused by governments to stifle free speech.
  • Additionally, “affecting the interest of India” is not specifically mentioned as an offence under the laws that provide the NIA the jurisdiction to conduct investigations.

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