Explain the function and mandate and key issues in effective functioning of National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Lack of interstate coordination and the international linkages to the terrorist groups was posing a challenge for India in fight against terrorism. Therefore there was a need of strong, empowered federal investigating agency with all India Jurisdiction. To cater to these needs NIA was established.
Mandate
NIA is empowered to conduct investigations and prosecute for the offences specified under the NIA act. It deals with the offences listed under the following acts

  • The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962);
  • The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967);
  • The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 (65 of 1982);
  • The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 (66 of 1982);
  • The SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1993 (36 of 1993);
  • The Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act, 2002 (69 of 2002);
  • The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005 (21 of 2005);
  • Offences under
  • Chapter VI of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) [sections 121 to 130 (both inclusive)]; 
  • Sections 489-A to 489-E (both inclusive) of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860)

Impediments for its effective functioning

  • Lacks dedicated officers; the officers are recruited from Central State police, Central armed police forces on deputation.
  • Lack of coordination mechanism with other specialised agencies like RAW, IB, State police etc
  • Lack of experts to deal with the cybercrimes.
  • Lack of financial autonomy.

Measures to address these

  • Creating a separate cadre for NIA similar to IPS.
  • Addition of Cyber experts to deal with the new age threats.
  • Granting of financial autonomy similar to CAPF.

NIA has a key role to protect India from the emerging threats. Strengthening of NIA to discharge its duties efficiently is the need of the hour.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Explain the function and mandate and key issues in effective functioning of National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Published: February 19, 2018 | Modified:October 13, 2020

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