Why in news?

  • NIA Act, stating it is violative of the Constitution, The Chhattisgarh government moved to the Supreme Court against the 2008 National Investigative Agency (NIA) Act, stating it is violative of the Constitution.
  • In its civil suit, the government told the apex court the NIA should have no power over state policing matters.

What is the NIA Act, 2008?

  • NIA Act, stating it is violative of the Constitution, it gives the NIA powers to take Suo moto cognisance of terror activities in any part of India and register a case, to enter any state without permission from the state government, and to investigate and arrest people.
  • The Act makes the National Investigative Agency the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, and more powerful than the CBI.

Details of the petition

  • The petition says the 2008 Act takes away the state’s power of conducting an investigation through the police, while conferring “unfettered, discretionary and arbitrary powers” on the Centre
  • The provisions of the Act leave no room of coordination and pre-condition of consent, in any form whatsoever, by the Central government from the State government which clearly repudiates the idea of state sovereignty as envisaged under the Constitution of India

Changes made to the NIA’s powers by 2019 NIA Amendment Act

  • Expanded the type of offences that the investigative body could investigate and prosecute
  • Can now 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 amendment also enables the central government to designate sessions courts as special courts for NIA trials.
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment (UAPA), also passed in 2019, allows an NIA officer to conduct raids, and seize properties that are suspected to be linked to terrorist activities without taking prior permission of the Director General of Police of a state.
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