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NIA can now probe cases on foreign soil, thanks to new bill

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New Delhi, July 16: The Lok Sabha passed a crucial bill that seeks to empower the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe cases relating to cyber crime and human trafficking.

Union Home Minister, Amit Shah assured the House that the law will not be misused or abused.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah

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.

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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.

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"We want to strengthen NIA" and it does not have any link to any religion or political party, he said.

Later Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) sought division when the bill came up for passage.

Even Home Minister Amit Shah said that division should be taken up to show "who all are for or against terrorism".

While 278 members supported its consideration, only 6 opposed it. The bill was passed by a voice vote.

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