UPSC PRELIMS 2019 : Changes in National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Changes in National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill 2019

Topic: Changes in National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Topic in Syllabus: Security Issues

 

Context:

Changes in National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill 2019

The Lok Sabha has passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

This Bill gives NIA officers power to investigate offences committed outside India too, and mandates the setting up of Special Courts.

 

What is NIA?

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was set up in 2009 under the NIA Act, 2008.
  • It was set up in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack.
  • At present, NIA is functioning as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India.

 

National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for the following:

  • “In order to facilitate the speedy investigation
  • prosecution of Scheduled Offences, including those committed outside India against the Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India
  • To insert certain new offences in the Schedule to the Act as Scheduled Offences which adversely affect the national security, it has become necessary to amend certain provisions of the Act.”

 

Key features of the Bill:

  • Type of offences – NIA can investigate offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
  • NIA’s jurisdiction – For the offences under its purview, NIA officers have the same power as other police officers and these extend across the country.
  • Trial Courts – The existing Act allows the Centre to constitute special courts for NIA’s trials.

 

Amendments to the Bill:

  • Type of offences that the NIA can investigate and prosecute is now expanded.
  • This will enable NIA to additionally investigate offences related to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism, and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
  • NIA’s jurisdiction – The Bill gives NIA officers the power to investigate offences committed outside India. The Special Court in New Delhi will have jurisdiction over these cases.
  • Its jurisdiction outside India will be subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.
  • Special trial courts can be designated by the Central government for the offences that come under NIA’s purview or the “scheduled offences”.
  • The Bill enables the Centre to designate sessions courts as special courts.
  • The Centre is required to consult the Chief Justice of the High Court under which the Sessions Court is functioning, before designating it.
  • The state governments may also designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences.

 

Significance:

  • It aims to be a thoroughly professional investigative agency matching the best international standards at the national level, by developing into a highly trained, partnership-oriented workforce.
  • It aims to discourage the existing and potential terrorist groups/individuals.
  • It aims to develop as a storehouse of terrorist related information.

 

Sample Question:

Which of the following works as the “National Central Bureau” of INTERPOL?

(a) Central Vigilance Commission

(b) Central Bureau of Investigation

(c) Chief Information Commissioner

(d) National Investigation Agency

 

Answer: b

Central Bureau of Investigation acts as the ‘National Central Bureau’ of INTERPOL in India.