State of Chattisgarh Files Suit in SC Against NIA Act4 min read

By- Pragati Goyal

BACKGROUND

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to prevent from terror in India. NIA was constituted under the NIA Act, 2008. It was established after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as a central agency to prevent terrorism. There are 649 employees in the agency and this agency comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs. The agency is authorised to investigate any terror related matter across the country without special permission of the states. Although the state government can request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA. Infact in 2019 amendment bill was passed where NIA has the power to deal with the cases related to human trafficking, manufacturing of prohibited weapons, cyber terrorism, fake currency and so on. As per the statement of amit shah in parliament that POTA was repealed just due to political attraction and there were no misuse of that act.The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 was an Act passed by the Parliament of India in 2002, with the objective of strengthening anti-terrorism operations. The Act was enacted due to several terrorist attacks that were being carried out in India and especially in response to the attack on the Parliament. And this act was repealed in 24 September 2004.

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CURRENT ISSUE

Officers of the NIA are chosen from the Indian Police Service, Indian Revenue Service, state police, Income Tax as well as officers from the Central Armed Police Forces like CRPF, ITBP, BSF etc. In addition to this new faces are also recruited in NIA through exams. The State of Chhattisgarh has filed an original suit in the Supreme Court under Article 131 challenging the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 stating that it is ultra vires the Constitution. A holistic appreciation of the fact that “Police” was placed under List- II as the subject matter of State, with power to investigate, and equally significant fact that no such entry of “Police” or even any incidental or ancillary entry was provided in List 1 i.e., Centre List suggests that the framing of a legislation such as NIA Act by the Parliament, which creates an “investigation” agency having overriding powers over the “Police” of a State, was never the intention of the makers of the Constitution”.The Act in effect creates a “National Police”, affecting the rights of the State, argues Chhattisgarh, which is at present ruled by a Congress-led government. The plaint seeks a decree of declaration that the NIA Act 2008 is unconstitutional.

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QUESTION OF LAW

As the new amendment bill gives powers NIA by not putting the certain the obligations which may lead to infringement of state rights mentioned in the constitution by the central government. The plaint states that the investigation of offences within the territorial limits of Chhattisgarh by NIA gives rise to a dispute for adjudication under Article 131. And what about that in terrorist attack in Makkah masjid where 18 people were killed and in April 2011 the case was transferred from CBI to NIA and in this case the judgement was given under NIA that all the five arrested were released and no such clarifications were given by supreme court under which they were found to be guilty.

CONCLUSION

To protect from terrorism enactment of NIA is legitimate and very effective act to the very extent. This act is effective in dealing with all the cases which cause terrorism in India but after the amendment it infringes the rights of states as mentioned in the constitution as there are no obligations to set limits to the authority of NIA. So the petition has been filed by chattisgarh which questioned for what about their rights. So there should be such provisions which would work according to the constitution and the rights of the state will protect and illegitimate actions may not be perform by central government.

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