The Government of Chhattisgarh has filed a petition against the Central Government; it is concerning the constitutional validity of The National Investigation Act, 2008. At present, the ruling party in the state is of the Congress party which had brought this Act after the 26/11 Mumbai Attack. This suit of the State of Chhattisgarh comes after the filing of the petition by the State of Kerala against the validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019. The question arises, whether the States of India have a right to file a suit against the Central Government. It has been provided in the Article 131 of the Constitution of India which mentions that the Supreme Court has the power to deal with the cases with the disputes arises between States and Central Government is subject to the provision. The case which has referred by the State of Chhattisgarh is the same as the State of Kerala to the Judgment made by the Supreme Court in the case of The State of Jharkhand vs. The State of Bihar in the year 2015.
The Legislation was passed under the governance of UPA-I, during that period P.Chidambaram was the Home Minister and organized the Central counter-terror probe agency. The NIA will have the power to supersede the State police during the investigation and trial of terror-related offences. This legislation was passed within four days in the Parliament of India and received criticism as well from the opposition, of which The chief of Communist Party of India, Sitaram Yechury made an argument against the legislation that, it doesn’t involve state during the investigation and trial of terror offences. The note which was leaked by the Wiki-leaks regarding the NIA Act, that powers which has been provided to the NIA conflicts with the responsibility that is exclusively provided to the States, this was told by P.Chidambaram to US Federal Bureau of Investigation director Robert Mueller on March 3, 2009.
- Investigate and prosecute offences specified in the schedule.
- Powers of The NIA Officers shall be the same as Police Officers to the investigation in India.
- Power to investigate outside India which shall be based on to the subject of International and Domestic laws of that country.
- It shall be directed by the Central Government in such a manner as if the crime was committed in India.
The division bench comprising of the Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh High Court P R Ramachandra Menon and Justice Parth Prateem Sahu provided that there is a provision which makes the issue opaque about the right to investigate and mandatory to obey those legal obligations. This issue concerning the validity of NIA came after the death of Dantewada legislator, Mandavi along with his security men in a Maoist IED explosion on April 19, 2019, during the Parliamentary election. The then President of BJP, Amit Shah did wanted for a CBI investigation which results into NIA asked for the investigative report from the State police of Chhattisgarh. Consequently, a letter was written by the Home ministry of Chhattisgarh to reconsider the decision to allow the probe to be made by NIA and added that the investigation is going in a reasonable direction. There wasn’t any sort of reply made by the Centre and apprehension was made by the State Government to submit the investigative report. Furthermore, a petition was filed in the District Court of Dantewada in opposition to the trepidation made by the State of Chhattisgarh is not submitting the report to them; verdict made against them. Later, the Writ Petition got filed in the High Court of Chhattisgarh were the Judgment was made to submit the investigative report to Central Agency.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
- Times of India, Chhattisgarh HC rejects govt plea against NIA probe, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/72179431.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
- The Wire, Chhattisgarh Files Suit Against Centre in Supreme Court Challenging NIA Act, https://thewire.in/law/chhattisgarh-files-suit-against-centre-in-supreme-court-challenging-nia-act
- PRS India, The National Investigation (Amendment) Act, 2019