NIA (National Investigation Agency)

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  • It is the central agency established by the Government of India to combat terror in India.
  • Agency came into existence with the enactment of the NIA Act 2008.
  • NIA was created after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
  • Y C Modi is the current chairman of NIA. 
  • NIA works under Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Key changes in the NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019:-

Scheduled Offences: The schedule to the Act specifies a list of offences which are to be investigated and prosecuted by the agency
These include offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967. 

The Bill will allow the NIA to investigate additional offences:
(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: The amendment provides for the creation of the NIA to investigate and prosecute offences specified in the schedule

The officers of the NIA have the same powers as other police officers in relation to the investigation of such offences, across India

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. 

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.

Special Courts: The Bill allows the central government to constitute Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences

The Act amends this to state that the central government may designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. 

The central government is required to consult the Chief Justice of the High Court under which the Sessions Court is functioning, before designating it as a Special Court. 

When more than one Special Court has been designated for any area, the senior-most judge will distribute cases among the courts.  Further, state governments may also designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.    

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