Today, a new law was approved in the Rajya Sabha to make stronger the anti-terror agency National Investigation Agency (NIA). Sources said the legislation was passed in the Lok Sabha amid opposition objections after two days. More information yet to come.

The bill was passed with a huge majority. Total 278 lawmakers had voted in support of the National Investigation Agency (Amendment) Bill in the lower house on Monday, while just six opposed it. Opposition leaders including AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Congress lawmaker Manish Tewari opposed claiming the NIA is being granted such “over-arching” powers. 

On July 8, the bill was introduced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah aiming to strengthen the anti-terror agency to investigate scheduled offenses such as human trafficking; circulation of fake currency; manufacture and sale of prohibited arms; and cyber-terrorism. The move will also grant the formation of special courts for adjudicating such crimes.

During the discussion that preceded voting on the bill, Amit Shah has sought the support of all the members of the Lok Sabha. He also claimed that disunity in the house may send out “wrong message” and “boost the morale” of terrorists.

However, the opposition agreed not the decision and claimed that the decision may turn India into a political state. Manish Tewari stated that providing the NIA with sweeping powers on a par with any officer across the country would not be desirable at a time when probe agencies were being “misused by the center for political vendetta”.  Asaduddin Owaisi, on the other hand, said that “We should not attempt to be like America and Israel. They are not democracies in the ideal sense.”

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