In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday opposed a recent order of union ministry of home affairs relating to organisation, function and powers of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) on the ground that it had “draconian overtone” and would “infringe” on the federal structure of the states as enshrined in the Constritution.
While urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to review the order, Patnaik said: “The people of our nation are aware of their democratic and federal rights, which at times have to be underlined by the state governments to the central government. After all, the price of democratic freedom is eternal vigilance. It would seem that the UPA government at times, knowingly or unknowingly, infringes on those federal rights.”
Patnaik said that the union ministry of home affairs office memorandum on February 3, while trying to explain the organisation, function and power of NCTC constituted in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), had vested powers in NCTC which appeared to be an infringement on the powers of the state government in matters of investigation and maintenance of order.
Patnaik said Para 3.1 of the order empowered the director, NCTC as the designated authority under Section 2(e) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. “This would entail the officers of NCTC having power to arrest, search etc. under Section 3A of the UAP Act without consulting the state governments,’ Patnaik said.
Further, Patnaik said Para 3.5 and 5.1 required all authorities, including functionaries of state governments, to provide information, documents and reports To the NCTC. “Would it not have been advisable for the union government to have prior consultation with the state governments?” Patnaik asked the Prime Minister.