RS passes NIA Bill as Opposition stands divided on reference to select panel

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on July 17, 2019 Published on July 17, 2019

A view of National Investigation Agency (NIA) Headquarter, in New Delhi   -  V. Sudershan

The National Investigating Agency (Amendment) Bill was passed ‘unanimously’ in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday as the demand of the Left parties to send the Bill to a Select Committee did not get support even from the rest of the Opposition.

The Left parties staged a walkout questioning the Centre’s reluctance and Congress MP T Subbirami Reddy withdrew the amendments against the Bill after Home Minister Amit Shah’s assurance that the Centre will not allow the misuse of the Act.

Replying to the three-hour-long debate, Shah urged the Opposition members not to undermine the capability of the NIA. He said out of the 195 cases registered by the agency, chargesheets have been filed in 129 and conviction has been ensured in 41 cases. He said the new provisions will enable the NIA to deal with incidents of terror against Indians living abroad.

He also questioned the UPA regime for “politicising” the probe into the blasts in Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid. “The UPA government tried to link the case with one religion,” he said and adding that the Samjhauta blast case did not stand the trial in the court as the chargesheet filed during the UPA regime failed to provide evidences against the accused.

He assured the MPs that the Act is not against federal principles and the Narendra Modi regime will not allow the misuse of its provisions.

Congress MP Vivek Tankha said the sovereignty of States must be protected and cited the example of the probe into the Darbha valley Maoist attack that claimed the lives of more than two dozen Congress leaders and workers. He said the NIA refused to probe the conspiracy behind the attacks despite an offer from the State to cooperate.

More teeth to the Act

The Bill also gives the NIA the authority to probe cyber crimes, cases of human trafficking and fake notes.

BJP member Ashok Bajpai said the UPA destabilised the attacks against terror by nullifying Acts such as POTA. Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said the Bill should have been sent to a select committee.

He said in the 14th Lok Sabha, 60 per cent of the Bills were sent to Parliamentary panels, while in the 15th Lok Sabha, 71 per cent of Bills were scrutinised by standing or select committees. Just 26 per cent of the Bills went to such panels in the first Narendra Modi government, but during its second tenure none of the Bills have gone to any panels, he added.

Published on July 17, 2019

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!


Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.