Law & Order A State Subject, NIA Can’t Proceed Prior To Registration of Crime by State Police: Rajasthan High Court
The Rajasthan High Court passed a judgement on 20-01-23 in the case of Sadiq Sarraf vs. Union of India D.B. Habeas Corpus Petition No. 24/2023. The Rajasthan High Court at the Jaipur bench has recently issued notice to NIA in a Habeas Corpus petition which challenged the FIR registered by the agency on the ground that it has no statutory power to “register” any criminal incident involving the schedule offences within a State. A division bench of Justices Birendra Kumar and Anil Kumar Upman has issued notice in the matter.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
The plea states that the Centre has no power to pass any order under section 6(3) of the NIA Act as law and order is the subject of the state and it cannot proceed in the absence of any prior registered crime/ FIR. It adds that NIA must proceed akin to CBI or ED which need state permission before registration of any case within the jurisdiction of respective state. The detainee was arrested from Kerala back in September 2022 where he was attending organizational meeting conducted by the Popular Front of India (PFI).
The FIR was lodged at PS NIA in New Delhi under sections 120B, 153A of IPC and sections 13 and 19 of UAPA based on an order of Undersecretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs under Section 6(5) of NIA Act upon receiving credible information about alleged schedule offence. Counsel for petitioner, Akhil Chaudhary, referred to Section 6(3) of NIA Act which states that “on receipt of report from the State Government” the Central Government shall determine whether the offence is a Scheduled Offence or not and whether, having regard to the gravity of the offence and other relevant factors, it is a fit case to be investigated by the Agency.
Further, Section 6(8) of the Act empowers the Centre to direct the Agency to register the case and take up investigation if it is of the opinion that a Schedule Offence has been committed at any place outside India to which this Act extends. Thus, the plea contends that the only circumstance when the Central Govt. can pass any direction/order to agency to register an FIR is provided in Section 6(8) of NIA Act and since no such incident is alleged in the complaint, the impugned FIR is without any jurisdiction.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY CHANDANA SHEKAR