The home ministry wants to let the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe select offences under Jammu & Kashmir’s criminal law, ranging from sedition and counterfeiting in the state.
When the NIA Act was enacted in 2008, Parliament brought under its purview a select group of offences under the Indian Penal Code relating to waging war against the State. The agency can probe any case registered without the consent of the state government if it is mentioned in the schedule to the law.
But the IPC does not extend to J-K, which enjoys a special status in the Constitution. It has a separate Constitution and a criminal code called Ranbir Penal Code. The Centre intends to fix this gap.
J-K governor NN Vohra mooted the idea in January this year when the state was under governor’s rule, triggering protests from state leaders, including those from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
One of them was Rajouri MLA Ch Zulfiqar Ali, who retorted that J-K’s laws and police were best suited for the job. Ali, who was inducted into the PDP-BJP alliance government as consumer affairs minister, refused to comment on the home ministry’s move, saying he was neither a spokesperson for the government nor the party.