• National Investigation Agency has been constituted in 2009 under NIA Act, 2008

  • Central counter-terrorism law enforcement agency
  • Established in the backdrop of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks
  • Specialised cell-TFFC Cell dealing fake currency notes and terror funding
  • Headed by Director-General appointed by Central Govt. (Similar to DGP rank in state police)
  • Works under Ministry of Home Affairs
  • state government extends all assistance and co-operation
  • Headquarters: New Delhi

Functions of National Investigation Agency

  • investigate and prosecute offences
  • provide assistance to both Central & State Govt.
  • implementation of NIA Act

Vision of National Investigation Agency

  • professional investigative agency matching the best international standards
  • set the standards of excellence in counterterrorism National Investigation Agency
  • creating deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups/ individuals
  • develop as a storehouse of all terrorist related information

Jurisdiction of National Investigation Agency

  • concurrent jurisdiction
  • friendly relations with foreign states and offences under various Acts enacted to implement internationaltreaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the UNO
  • The offences under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 are to be investigated and prosecuted by the NIA.

Empowered to probe

  • terror attacks including bomb blasts
  • hijacking of aircrafts and ships
  • attacks on nuclear installations and use of weapons of mass destruction
  • human trafficking
  • counterfeit currency or bank notes
  • manufacture or sale of prohibited arms
  • cyber-terrorism and explosive substances

NIA Act, 2019

  • applied the provisions of the NIA Act also to persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against Indian citizens or affecting the interest of India
  • officers of the NIA shall have the similar powers, duties, privies and liabilities with the investigation of offences, not only in India but also outside India
  • empowered the central government, with respect to a scheduled offence committed outside India
  • central government and the state governments may designate Sessions Courts as Special Courts for conducting the trial of offences
  • inserted certain new offences in the Schedule of the Act

Special NIA Courts

  • Various Special Courts have been notified by the Central Government of India for the trial of the cases registered at various police stations of NIA under Section 11 and 22 of the NIA Act 2008. 
  • Any question as to the jurisdiction of these courts is decided by the Central Government.
  • These are presided over by a judge appointed by the Central Government on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court with jurisdiction in that region.
  • Supreme Court of India has also been empowered to transfer the cases from one special court to any other special court within or outside the state if the same is in the interest of justice in light of the prevailing circumstances in any particular state. 
  • The NIA Special Courts are empowered with all powers of the court of sessions under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 for a trial of any offence.
  •  An appeal from any judgement, sentence or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court lies to the High Court both on facts and on the law. State Governments have also been empowered to appoint one or more such special courts in their states.


  • Under The constitution of India, law and order is a state subject.
  • There have been questions raised on how NIA is usurping state rights under the guise of fighting terror.
  • A US Embassy cable accessed by The Hindu says, that union home minister P Chidambaram told FBI Director Robert Mueller that National Investigation Agency’s powers could be challenged in the courts as violating constitutional provisions on Centre-State relations. In 2020 Chhattisgarh state filed a case against the act in the supreme court that the said act violates the constitution.

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