The National Investigation Agency [NIA] is functioning as the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency in India.
NIA with its headquarters (Hqrs) at New Delhi, has 18 Branch Offices in the country. Of them, 10 branch offices at Chandigarh, Ranchi, Imphal, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Patna, Jaipur, Bhopal and Bhubaneshwar, with additional 481 posts, have been created since July, 2019.
142 additional posts have been sanctioned for establishment of two Divisions at NIA Hqrs, one for investigation and monitoring of Human Trafficking cases and the other for investigation of Offences of Cyber Terrorism, Explosives and Prohibited Arms and also for strengthening of legal cadre in NIA Headquaters.
The NIA Act was amended in the year 2019 to enlarge the mandate of the NIA by inclusion of offences related to human trafficking, manufacture/sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and expanded its jurisdiction beyond India.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 was amended in year 2019 to inter-alia empower Director General (DG), NIA to seize/attach the properties related to proceeds of terrorism in cases being investigated by the NIA.
NIA’s capacity enhancement has been ensured by providing prompt approvals for scientific & technological support in terms of equipments and skill.
In order to give more autonomy and independence to the NIA, the financial powers delegated to DG, NIA for engaging consultants/ experts/ professionals have been enhanced substantially.
The allocation of funds has consistently been increased since 2019-20. This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Nityanand Rai in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
Keeping in view the zero tolerance policy against terrorism, the Central Government regularly reviews administrative and legal requirements of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and takes necessary steps to enable it to discharge its mandate in a more effective and professional manner as per the Ministry of Home Affairs Press Release.
Background to Establishment of NIA
As a large number of terrorist incidents are found to have complex inter-State and international linkages, and possible connection with other activities like the smuggling of arms and drugs, pushing in and circulation of fake Indian currency, infiltration from across the borders, etc. keeping all these in view, it was felt that there was a need for setting up of an Agency at the Central level for investigation of offences related to terrorism and certain other Acts, which have national ramifications. Thus the NIA was established through an Act in 2018.