NIA Amendment Bill 2019 got clearance in Lok Sabha

NIA Amendment Bill 2019 got clearance in Lok Sabha

Lok Sabha has passed the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The Bill amends the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008 that provides for a national-level agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in the scheduled offences.

The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack that had claimed 166 lives.

What are changes introduced in the NIA (Amendment) Bill 2019?
There are three major amendments to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act of 2008 :-

  • 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.
    The latest amendments will enable the 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.

  • 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.
    The Bill amends this to give NIA officers the power to investigate offences committed outside India. Of course, NIA’s jurisdiction will be subject to international treaties and domestic laws of other countries.

  • The third change relates to the special trials 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.

Importance of NIA Amendment Bill 2019 :-
This amendment Bill of NIA allow government agency NIA to probe terror cases targeting Indians and Indian assets abroad, provides more power the centre government to designate existing session courts as special NIA courts. Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in the house that the bill aims at eliminating terrorism and that the Modi government will ensure it is not misused.

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