The Lok Sabha today (15 July) passed the National Investigative Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which seeks to empower the investigative agency to probe cases targeting Indians and Indian assets abroad.
The bill, when passed by the Rajya Sabha, will amend the National Investigative Agency (NIA) Act, 2008 and give greater powers to the agency to probe international cases along with cases of human and arms trafficking. Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy had earlier said that perpetrators of such crimes have skirted appropriate punishment earlier in absence of NIA’s power to probe them.
The bill led to a heated debate in the lower house, with the Congress’ Manish Tewari of the opinion that the bill be used to turn India into a ‘police state’. Tewari also said that the constitutional validity of the NIA Act, 2008 is still under judicial consideration.
The NIA Act, 2008 was passed by the the then UPA government to setup the NIA in wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. The central investigation agency has since secured convictions in 90 per cent of the cases, Reddy said.
Asaduddin Owaisi, AIMIM MP: Whoever doesn't support their (BJP) decisions, they call them anti-nationals. Have they opened shop of nationals and anti-nationals? Amit Shah threatens us by raising his finger but he is just a Home Minister, not God. He should read rules first. pic.twitter.com/MSHFD8Pm76— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2019
The bill also saw opposition MP Assaduddin Owaisi getting agitated and asking the Home Minister Amit Shah to not point a finger at him as he won’t be intimidated by the gesture. Shah retorted saying that he could do nothing about the fear in Owaisi’s mind.