NIA’s scope swells

The National Investigative Agency (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, empowering the body to investigate cases not only in India, but also those affecting the “interests of India” abroad. Despite a heated debate over the bill, as Opposition parties raised serious objections to it, it managed to get a nod as the ruling party reigns in the lower house.

The bill proposed to broaden the NIA’s powers enabling it to investigate and prosecute ‘scheduled offences’ (a specific list of offences) and creation of special courts for trial among other things. G Kishan Reddy, minister of state (home affairs), told the House on Monday that NIA has a good track record with 90 per cent convictions.

Reddy said that the special court judges will be appointed by the Chief Justice of India in a bid to fast-track the justice delivery process. “State governments must constitute special courts to tackle terrorism. NIA will investigate cases under the Arms Act, and tackle cyber-terrorism,” he said.

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