A Bill seeking to further strengthen the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by giving it powers to probe attacks targeting Indians and Indian interests on foreign soil was introduced in LokSabha on Monday.
Introducing the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said the legislation would also allow the NIA probe cyber crimes and cases of human trafficking. Through the legislation, the government wants to further strengthen the NIA Act, Reddy said, adding the agency will be empowered to conduct investigation in any part of the world if any attack targeting Indians or Indian interests takes place.
The NIA was set up in 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai attack which had claimed 166 lives.
Opposing the Bill, Congress leader ShashiTharoor said the courts were already clogged with huge backlog and now the government was adding more cases through the amendment in the NIA Act.
Tharoor alleged that the Bill was “not based on logic” and was a “piecemeal” legislation.
The Bill does not insulate the NIA from political interference, he said. Indian Union Muslim League MP P K Kunhalikutty said when the government is widening the powers of the investigation agencies, there should be another set of measures or provisions to ensure that the powers are not misused.