New Delhi: In a major move aimed at giving more power to the National Investigation Agency and enable it to probe terror attacks on Indians and Indian properties abroad, Parliament on Wednesday approved the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill. Two days after the Lok Sabha passed the Bill, Rajya Sabha approved it unanimously.
The bill gives powers to the NIA to probe terror attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests abroad.
The latest amendments will enable the NIA to additionally investigate offences related to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, manufacture or sale of prohibited arms, cyber-terrorism, and offences under the Explosive Substances Act, 1908.
Replying to the debate on the Bill, home minister Amit Shah assured the Rajya Sabha that the legislation will not be misused. "I want to assure the House that wherever abroad Indians are harmed by a terrorist, NIA is capable of taking action. I want to assure that the Modi government will not allow misuse of this law. The amendment will allow NIA to act against any harm brought to Indians or their properties on foreign soil," the home minister said. He attacked the Congress for questioning the efficiency of NIA, saying 184 terror accused have been convicted since the BJP government came to power in 2014.
He also defended the government for not filing an appeal against the acquittal of all four accused, including Swami Aseemanand, in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case. He said the four were chargesheeted by the previous Congress government without proof.