Lok Sabha passes NIA Amendment Bill

  1. Lok Sabha has passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill,2019.
  2. There are three major amendments to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act of 2008.
  3. The first change is the type of offences that the NIA can investigate and prosecute.Under the existing Act,the NIA can investigate offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act,1962 and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act,1967.
  4. The amendment will enable the NIA to additionally investigate offences related to (a)human trafficking (b)counterfeit currency (c)manufacture or sale of prohibited arms (d)cyber-terrorism and (e)offences under the Explosive Substances Act,1908.
  5. The second change pertains to NIA’s jurisdiction.Under the Act,for the offences under its purview,NIA officers have the same power as other police officers and these extend across the country.
  6. The Bill amends this to give NIA officers the power to investigate offences committed outside India.But the NIA’s jurisdiction will be subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.
  7. The third change relates to the special trial courts for the offences that come under NIA’s purview or the so-called “scheduled offences”.The existing Act allows the Centre to constitute special courts for NIA’s trials. But the Bill enables the Central government to designate sessions courts as special courts for such trials.
  8. National Investigation Agency(NIA) is a central agency established by the Indian Government to combat terror in India.It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
  9. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states.The Agency came into existence with the enactment of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack.