Mar 4, 2022

What should you know about the National Investigation Agency?

The Delhi High Court has asked the government for a response on the pendency of National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases in designated special courts and the reason for delay in the trials in such cases.


1.Which law establishes the National Investigation Agency?

The NIA was established under the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.


  1. What is the NIA?

The NIA is a special agency set up by the Central government. It is a national investigation agency that investigates and prosecutes offences that affect:


  1. a) the sovereignty and integrity of India;
  2. b) the security of our country;
  3. c) friendly relations with foreign countries; and
  4. d) our implementation of international treaties, agreements etc. of the United Nations and other international organisations.


  1. What offences does the NIA regulate?

The NIA investigates and prosecutes offences related to explosive substances, atomic energy, nuclear weapons, unlawful activities, terrorist activities, hijacking, etc. The NIA has the power to regulate any offence given in the Schedule of the Act.


  1. The NIA’s powers

NIA officers have the power to investigate scheduled offences and arrest people who are involved in such offences. In relation to this, the officers of the NIA have all the powers, duties, privileges and liabilities which ordinary police officers have while conducting an investigation. The administration of the NIA lies with its Director-General, who enjoys the same powers as a Director-General of Police.


While investigating any offence under the Act, the NIA can request a State government to associate itself with the investigation. The NIA can also take the approval of the Central government to transfer a case to a State government for investigation and trial. For doing this, the NIA will take into account the seriousness of the offence and other relevant factors.


  1. Special Courts

The Central government can choose Session Courts in different States to function as Special Courts for the trial of offences under the Act. These Special Courts are chosen in consultation with the Chief Justice of the High Court of the respective State. Every offence investigated by the NIA is tried by the Special Court which has authority in the local area where the offence was committed.

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