The Congress-led Chhattisgarh government Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the 2008 National Investigative Agency (NIA) Act, stating that it is violative of the Constitution. In its civil suit, the government told the court that the NIA should have no power over state policing matters.
“The NIA Act takes away the power of conducting probe by state, confers discretionary and arbitrary powers on the Centre. NIA Act is against the idea of state sovereignty as envisaged under the Constitution,” the Chhattisgarh government has stated in its petition.
With this, Chhattisgarh is the first state to file a civil suit against the NIA in the Supreme Court. According to Advocate General Satish Verma, “selective picking of cases of political interest” by the NIA led them to file the case.
The NIA Act, 2008, governs the functioning of India’s premier counter-terror agency. It was introduced by then Home Minister P Chidambaram in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack and was passed in Parliament with very little opposition.
The Act makes NIA the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, and more powerful than the CBI.
The NIA Act gives the NIA powers to take suo motu cognisance of terror activities in any part of India and to register a case, to enter any state without needing permission from its government, and to investigate and arrest people