After Kerala's Move On CAA, Chhattisgarh Moves SC Challenging NIA Act
The Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday, January 15, moved the Supreme Court seeking to declare the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act 'unconstitutional' claiming it is 'against the federal spirit' of the Constitution.
The Congress-ruled state filed the suit under Article 131 of the Constitution, which permits states to move the apex court in disputes against the Centre.
On Tuesday, the Kerala government had referred to the same Article to move the SC challenging the contentious amendments to the Citizenship Act.
In a first, the National Investigation Agency Act, passed in 2008, has been challenged by a state, leaving the Centre as a defendant in the plea.
The Chhattisgarh government claims that the Act was "beyond the legislative competence of Parliament" as it allowed the Centre to create an agency for investigation, "which, notwithstanding the NIA, is carried out by state police, which is a subject matter of the state."
The suit claimed that the NIA Act not only snatched the power of conducting an investigation by states through police but also gave "unfettered, discretionary and arbitrary powers" to the Centre.
"Moreover, there are no rules governing the exercise of powers which gives ample discretion to the defendant [Centre] to exercise its power at any juncture without providing any reason or justification for the same," the plea said.
The plea claims that the Act left no space for coordination and pre-condition of consent by the central government from the state government and that this was against the idea of states' sovereignty.
The NIA Act was passed after the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai. It permitted the Centre to set up the NIA as a special agency for investigation and prosecution of certain categories of offences.