New Delhi: The Union government is unlikely to give in to demands by some states that their permission should be sought before a terrorism-related crime that happens in their territory is handed over to the newly created federal agency for a probe.
Addressing reporters after the chief ministers’ conference on Tuesday, home minister P. Chidambaram said “five or six” chief ministers had objected to some provisions in the legislation passed to set up the new agency. “The law was passed by Parliament. The MPs (members of Parliament) of these very states had voted in favour of the legislation. The law is clear and the provisions of the legislation will be faithfully adhered to.”
However, the home minister assured the chief ministers that he would write to them explaining the scope and context of the new law.
Earlier in the day, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had expressed his dissatisfaction with several provisions that will govern the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He said the Centre should not unilaterally decide on which cases should be investigated by the agency. He also said there was scope for red tape in the manner in which the new agency has been constituted.
Apart from Gujarat, the three states ruled by the Left Front, too, are understood to have objected to the provisions of the legislation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the government had taken note of the concerns expressed at the conference on recent amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure. “We will carefully examine the matter for harmonizing these amendments with the provisions and intents of the National Investigating Agency Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act. In case the harmonization of other important provisions of law regarding prevention of atrocities on minorities and weaker sections and the maintenance of law and order are required, this should also be done quickly. We would be ready with our response before the next session of Parliament.”