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National Investigation Agency (NIA):

GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Various Security forces and agencies and their mandate.

 

Context:

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against three accused in connection with the recovery of an improvised explosive device (IED) at Bhatindi in Jammu & Kashmir in June this year.

 

Background:

During investigation it was found that the three accused persons were receiving instructions from Pakistan-based handlers via WhatsApp. Investigation has unearthed a larger conspiracy of recruitment and plans to activate a significant number of radicalised youths in Kashmir to target security personnel and public places to wage war against the government of India.

 

About NIA:

It is a central agency to investigate and prosecute offences:

  • affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, security of State, friendly relations with foreign States.
  • against atomic and nuclear facilities.
  • smuggling in High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Currency.

It is also 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.
  • Works under the Ministry of Hime Affairs.

 

Jurisdiction:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

 

Powers:

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.

 

Appeals:

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.