NATIONAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY
What’s in news?
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a person in connection with a terror funding case linked to the Naga insurgent group NSCN (IM).
- The arrested person was actively involved in the transfer/mobilisation of the terror funds for NSCN (IM).
- He was produced before the NIA Special Court, New Delhi and taken in police custody for further investigation.
National Investigation Agency:
- The National Investigation Agency (NIA) was constituted under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, 2008.
- Headquarters: New Delhi
- Branches: Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kochi, Lucknow, Mumbai, Kolkata, Raipur and Jammu.
- 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 implements international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.
- It’s objective is also to combat terror in India.
- It acts as the Central Counter-Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency.
Need of NIA:
- The terrorist incidents are found to have complex inter-State and international linkages, and possible connection with organised crime, for example, the smuggling of arms and drugs, circulation of fake Indian currency etc.
- The agency at the Central level was created for investigation of offences related to terrorism and certain other Act post-2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Mandate of NIA:
- The cases are assigned to the NIA by the Central Government in accordance with section VI of the NIA Act, 2008.
- The investigation of the cases is done by the Agency independently.
- After investigation, the cases are placed before the NIA Special Court.
- For prosecuting the accused under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) and certain other scheduled offences, the Agency seeks the sanction of the Central Government.
- The sanction is granted under the UAPA based on the report of the ‘Authority’ constituted under section 45 (2) of the UAPA.
- It is empowered to deal with terror-related crimes across states without special permission from the states.
Smuggling and Terror Funding:
- The amendments to the NIA Act has brought the offences related to the smuggling in High-Quality Counterfeit Indian Currency under the definition of a terrorist Act.
- To curb various aspects of terrorist financing, a Terror Funding and Fake Currency Cell (TFFC) has been created in the NIA.
- The Cell maintains a database of terror financing and cases of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN).
- TFFC also conducts a part investigation into terror financing aspects of regular cases investigated by the NIA.
- TFFC Cell conducts verifications of bank accounts of the suspects that are linked with Naxalite groups.
- There is an exclusive Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) cell to effectively deal with cases related to terror financing aspects of Naxalite groups.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reviews the manpower, financial and infrastructure requirements of NIA from time to time.
- The NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed by Parliament amending the original Act of 2008.
- The Bill seeks to allow the NIA to investigate the following additional offences:
- Human trafficking
- Offences related to counterfeit currency or banknotes
- Manufacture or sale of prohibited arms
- Cyber-terrorism, and
- Offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908
- The schedule to the Act specifies a list of offences which are to be investigated and prosecuted by the NIA.
- These include offences under Acts such as the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967.
Links to note: