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Chhattisgarh govt knocks SC door against NIA Act, seeks to declare it unconstitutional

Chhattisgarh govt knocks SC door against NIA Act, seeks to declare it unconstitutional

The Congress-led Chhattisgarh government Wednesday moved the Supreme Court seeking declaration of 2008 NIA Act as unconstitutional. In its civil suit, the government told the court that the NIA should have no power over state policing matters.

"NIA Act takes away the power of conducting probe by state, confers discretionary and arbitrary powers on Centre. NIA Act is against the idea of state sovereignty as envisaged under the Constitution," the Chhattisgarh govt stated.

With this, Chhattisgarh becomes the first state to file a civil suit against the NIA in the Supreme Court. According to Advocate General Satish Verma, the selective picking of cases of political interest by the NIA led them to file the case.

The NIA Act, 2008, governs the functioning of India's premier counterterror agency. It was introduced by then Home Minister P Chidambaram in the wake of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, and was passed with very little opposition.

The Act makes NIA the only truly federal agency in the country, along the lines of the FBI in the United States, and more powerful than the CBI.

The NIA Act gives the NIA powers to take suo motu cognisance of terrorist activity in any part of India and to register a case, to enter any state without needing permission from its government, and to investigate and arrest people.

(Inputs from The Indian Express)

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