The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the National Investigation Agency Bill (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that sought to broaden the investigating powers of the agency. The Union Government, during the discussion in the Lok Sabha, called the Bill in the national interest. The Union Government said that the Amendment in the Bill is part of its policy of zero-tolerance against terrorism.
The Bill sought to give the power to the agency to investigate and prosecute offences listed in the scheduled offences.
The bill sought to allow the NIA to set up the Special Courts for the trial of scheduled offences. Apart from this, the bill will also give the power to the probing agency to investigate the cases of human trafficking, offences related to counterfeit currency or banknotes, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
While the Congress accused the government of turning the country into a ‘Police State’.
Minister of State (Home) G Kishan Reddy tabled the Bill for Discussion in the Lower House of the Parliament. Speaking in the House, MoS(Home) Kishan Reddy informed the Lok Sabha that the Amendment in the Bill will give the Power to the National Investigation Agency to investigate the cases of terrorism targeting Indians and Indian assets abroad as well.
Lauding the NIA, G Kishan Reddy asserted that the agency has been doing very good work and has secured a conviction in over 90 percent of the cases. Informing the figures to the Lower House of the Parliament, MoS added that the NIA has so far registered 272 cases out of which judgment has been delivered in 52 cases.
Seeking passage for the Bill, Minister G Kishan Reddy asserted that his government has brought the bill in the national interest and want to fight terrorism’. Recalling the Chowkidaar, MoS said, ‘Hamari ‘chowkidar’ ki sarkar hai. Yeh sarkar Desh ki Raksha Karne ke liye aage rahegi (We are always in front to protect our nation) It is the duty of the government to fight terrorism.
MoS Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy, in Lok Sabha: Hamari 'chowkidar' ki sarkar hai. Yeh sarkar desh ki raksha karne ke liye aage rahegi. It is the duty of the government to fight terrorism. pic.twitter.com/Fnd9XK0juD
— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2019
Taking to after the Bill was passed by Lok Sabha, MoS G Kishan Reddy said, ‘I reiterate the govt’s stance of zero tolerance towards terrorism. In light of this, I had the opportunity to introduce certain amendments to the NIA Bill 2019. With these amendments, we hope to march towards a robust judicial dispensation regime, and a safe & secure nation’.
In another tweet, he thanked all those who voted in favour of the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019. He wrote, ‘I thank each and every member of the Lok Sabha who has voted for the passing of the NIA Amendment Bill, 2019. With this, the NIA will be strengthened by which terror activities against Indians and Indian Properties will be investigated and prosecuted at the severest of order’.
I thank each and every member of the Lok Sabha who has voted for the passing of the NIA Amendment Bill, 2019. With this, the NIA will be strengthened by which terror activities against Indians and Indian Properties will be investigated and prosecuted at the severest of order. pic.twitter.com/T0aBwYNXUj
— G Kishan Reddy (@kishanreddybjp) July 15, 2019
While Union Home Minister Amit Shah slammed the Congress-led UPA Government. Speaking in the House, Shah slammed Congress of repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA).
Shah, as quoted by ANI, said, ‘Repealing POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) wasn’t a right step, the number of terrorist incidents increased so much between 2004-2008 that the then UPA govt had to bring in NIA. It was after Mumbai attack that it was decided to form NIA’.
Shah further assured the House the Union Government will never misuse the law on the basis of religion but asserted that Terrorism will be wiped out irrespective of the religion of the state.
— BJP (@BJP4India) July 15, 2019
Home Minister Amit Shah in Lok Sabha, today: Repealing POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) wasn't a right step, number of terrorists incidents increased so much between 2004-2008 that the then UPA govt had to bring in NIA. It was after Mumbai attack that it was decided to form NIA pic.twitter.com/EGtpH7v4Uw
— ANI (@ANI) July 15, 2019
Opposition including the Congress, however, slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led Central Government. Speaking in the House, Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib Manish Tewari accused the government of turning the nation into a political state.
Raising the issue, Congress MP said by broadening the power of the agency it acts as a tool for political vendetta and can be misused. However, Tewari asserted that his allegations are not aimed at any political government and he is talking in generic.
Tewari further demanded that the separation of investigation and prosecution wings for a fair probe.