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National Investigation Agency (NIA):

Topics Covered: Important security agencies.

National Investigation Agency (NIA):

What to study?

For Prelims: NIA- objectives, composition and functions.

For Mains: Amendments- criticisms, concerns and way ahead.

Context: The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Centre and the AAP government on a PIL seeking National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe under the unlawful activities law UAPA into the violence in northeast Delhi over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

Background:

A petition filed has urged the court to direct the Centre to order the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to find out the “anti-national forces” behind the agitations and to probe the role of People’s Front of India (PFI) which is allegedly “funding, motivating and supporting the protests”.

About NIA:

It acts as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency. It is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. Established under the National Investigation Agency Act 2008. Governing Body: Ministry of Hime Affairs.

Jurisdiction:

  1. A State Government may request the Central Government to hand over the investigation of a case to the NIA, provided the case has been registered for the offences as contained in the schedule to the NIA Act.
  2. Central Government can also order NIA to take over investigation of any scheduled offense anywhere in the India.

Composition:

Officers of the NIA are drawn from the Indian Police Service and Indian Revenue Service.

Special NIA Courts:

Various Special Courts have been notified by the Central Government of India for trial of the cases registered at various police stations of NIA under Section 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008. Any question as to the jurisdiction of these courts is decided by the Central Government. These are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region. Supreme Court of India has also been empowered to transfer the cases from one special court to any other special court within or outside the state if the same is in the interest of justice in light of the prevailing circumstances in any particular state. The NIA Special Courts are empowered with all powers of the court of sessions under Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for trial of any offense. An appeal from any judgement, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court lies to the High Court both on facts and on law. State Governments have also been empowered to appoint one or more such special courts in their states.

Sources: the Hindu.