Non-compliance of a key requirement under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act is likely to affect hundreds of terror and fake currency cases registered all over the country from 2009 onwards, NIA sources and defence prosecutors told HT.
The NIA Act mandates that any offence registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) or Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections dealing with circulation of fake Indian currency notes (FICNs) or waging war against the country, the station house officer (SHO) of the police station, where the case has been registered, will immediately give a report to the state government. The state government will send a report to the central government and then the Centre will determine whether it should be investigated by the NIA or the local police.
“But in most of the cases registered under these offences, the state governments are not sending any report to the central government. There may be hundreds of cases dealing with the FICN all over the country in particular from 2009 onwards when the NIA Act was passed,” said an official of the NIA requesting anonymity.
“Besides, the remand of accused or cognisance of chargeheet, in any of scheduled offences under the NIA Act, can only be taken by a special court. But even in Delhi there were around two dozen cases where these proceedings took place in a magistrate court and a special court was constituted only this year,” said MS Khan, a lawyer who has represented over a dozen accused in such cases.
Khan says the matter is now pending in the Delhi high court as a trial court judge has sent a reference (for clarification about it) to the high court.