Anti terror law to NIA Bill: Modi 2.0 set to wage war against terror
New Delhi, July 24: The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill. The bill was introduced in the lower house by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The bill would give India's internal security mechanism a major boost in the fight against terror. The amendment bill would give special procedures to deal with terror groups, their activities and also individuals.
The amendment to the existing act states, "who may commit terrorism", establishing that under the Act, the Centre may designate an organisation as a terrorist organisation if it commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for terrorism, promotes terrorism, or is otherwise involved in terrorism."
Most importantly the Bill empowers the government to designate individuals as terrorists on the same ground mentioned above. The Bill also empowers the National Investigation Agency to seize property during investigations in terror cases. " If the investigation is conducted by an officer of the NIA, the approval of the Director General of the agency would be required for the seizure of such property, the Bill says.
This comes close on the heels of the Lok Sabha passing a crucial bill that sought to empower the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe cases relating to cyber crime and human trafficking.
The bill gives the NIA the power to probe and prosecute offences listed in a schedule and also allows the setting up of special courts for trials in such cases.
The bill allows the NIA to probe cases of human trafficking, counterfeit currency, cyber terror, offences under the Explosive Substances Act and manufacture and sale of prohibited arms.
More importantly, the bill empowers the NIA to probe cases against Indian nationals in foreign countries. This would however be subject to foreign treaties and domestic laws of the other nations.
NIA is investigating as many as 272 cases and in that they have filed charge sheet in 199.
It may be recalled that when the Indian Embassy in Afghanistan was attacked in 2009, Afghanistan was keen to help. However the NIA was not empowered to register a case, probe it and prosecute those accused of the attack. The bill now will give the NIA the ability to probe cases on foreign soil.
The minister said that out 272, in 51 cases the courts have already delivered their judgements and in 46 cases, people have been convicted and "there is a 90 per cent conviction rate".
He said that the people have given the mandate to the government to protect the country from terrorism.