The National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was unanimously passed by Rajya Sabha today. After being passed by both the Houses, the NIA now would receive the powers to investigate terror crimes relating to Indians and Indian interests abroad.
Union Minister Amit Shah’s response in Rajya Sabha on NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019:
Replying to issues raised by members of Parliament in RS on NIA (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah said that it is the responsibility of the Parliament to build a strong image of NIA in front of the world. The efficiency of NIA should not be degraded on political considerations, he said.
Citing the sterling record of the NIA in terror cases, Shri Shah said that, as on 30-06-19, out of 272 cases registered, charge sheets have been filed in 199 cases; prosecution is over in 51 cases and convictions have been achieved in 46 cases. This is one of the best performance by global standards, he added.
Defending the independence of investigation agencies, the Home Minister said that under this Government, the investigation and prosecution agencies function independently and are never misused. Their functioning does not depend on the political mandate, but on rule of law. Shri Shah reassured the House that no agency would ever be misused under this Government.
Shri Shah said, till now India does not have the power to prosecute terror accused of perpetrating actress of terror against Indians abroad. The new bill should be passed with the support of all parties and it should send a message to the world that India, as a Nation, and the Parliament is united behind building a robust NIA to fight terror.
Let’s understand the Sections amended under the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019:
National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 was introduced for the following purpose:
Government after due consideration and examination of the issues involved proposes to enact a legislation to make provisions for the establishment of a National Investigation Agency in a concurrent jurisdiction framework, with provisions for taking up specific cases under specific Acts for investigation, provisions for setting up of Special Courts and for other related matters. These provisions are proposed to be incorporated in the National Investigation Agency Bill, 2008.
List of amendments under the Act are as follows:
- The amendment under Section 1 to be noted is that of the insertion of clause (d) under sub-section (2), according to which the Act would also apply to: “persons who commit a Scheduled Offence beyond India against the Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India.”
- Amendment to Section 2 (1) (h) “Special Court” means “a Court of Session designated as Special Court” constituted under Section 11 or, as the case may be, under Section 22
- Amendment under Section 6 of the Act — Investigation of Scheduled Offences, sub-section (8) & (9) has been added as under:
“(8) Where the Central Government is of the opinion that a Scheduled Offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends, it may direct the Agency to register the case and take up investigation as if such offence has been committed in India.
(9) For the purposes of sub-section (8), the Special Court at New Delhi shall have the jurisdiction.’’
- According to the amendment under Sections 11 and 22, the Central Government and the state governments may designate one or more courts of session as special courts for conducting the trial of offences under the Act.
- Amendment of the Schedule:
Following are the offences added and substituted with earlier:
— The Explosive Substances Act, 1908
— The Atomic Energy Act, 1962
— Sections 370 and 370A of the Indian Penal Code
— Sections 489-A to 489-E (both inclusive) of the Indian Penal Code
— Sub-section (1AA) of Section 25 of the Arms Act, 1959
— Section 66F of the Information Technology Act, 2000
*Please follow the link for detailed bill: National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Act, 2019
[Press Release dt. 17-07-2019]