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NCTC violates principle of federalism: Nitish

Strongly opposing the Centre's plan for setting up an NCTC, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar today said it "violates" the principle of federalism and the structure adopted for it suffers from "serious and basic flaws".
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAY 05, 2012 02:38 PM IST

Strongly opposing the Centre's plan for setting up an NCTC, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar today said it "violates" the principle of federalism and the structure adopted for it suffers from "serious and basic flaws".

Referring to Emergency days, Kumar said that if such powers are given to a secret intelligence agency of the Central Government, they will remain prone to misuse against political rivals and asked the government to immediately withdraw it.

"One does not have to go far back in history to recall that eminent political leaders were branded as threats to national security and were put behind bars during the emergency of 1975-77," Kumar said.

He raised several issues related to jurisdiction, accountability and power to investigate that the Centre proposes to vest in the NCTC and said that it will be prone to gross misuse.

"I am disturbed to see the sacrosanct principle of federalism being violated in course of Centre’s anti-terrorism onslaught. The order issued to set up NCTC also suffers from several legal and procedural defects," he said, addressing a meeting of Chief Ministers on the constitution of NCTC here.

Holding that excessive interference from Centre in matters of day-to-day governance is against the spirit of the Constitution, Kumar said the significant area of control of law and order and policing left with the states is now increasingly under attack from the Centre and "NCTC is the latest instrument of interference in this context".

Noting that it has been an established practice and sacrosanct principle all over world that secret intelligence agencies are not given powers to arrest, he said, adding that, "None of the post-independence Governments did so till date."

He said the structure adopted for creation of NCTC suffers from a serious and basic flaw as it has been created within Intelligence Bureau(IB) which is a secret intelligence organization without any accountability to Parliament or courts regarding its work.

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