PDP Opposes Move To Give More Powers To NIA
NIA personnel (file picture)
SRINAGAR: The Peoples Democratic Party has opposed the proposal of bringing the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), Jammu and Kashmir's criminal law, under the purview of the National Investigation Agency act, saying it amounts to violation of the state's special status under Indian Constitution.
The proposal, made by J&K's Governor NN Vohra at a recent conference on federalism in the national capital, calls for granting “sweeping powers” to the NIA in Jammu and Kashmir to take over any terror case.
However, senior PDP leader Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali said the law of Jammu and Kashmir are best suited to deal with all cases including those related to terror. "There is no need of extending the role of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to Jammu and Kashmir. The state police are capable of investigating terror issues. It is the best law to deal with all cases including those related to terror," Ali said.
Urging the Union Home Ministry to ensure that NIA's legal framework is suitably modified for effective investigations in terror cases, Vohra had favoured bringing RPC under the ambit of NIA Act during his address at the 7th foundation day of the central agency.
While Ali favoured inclusion of "good provisions" in the Ranbir Penal Code, he said J&K is a special state under Article 370 of Indian Constitution and no central law is applicable to the state till ratification by the state legislature.
"NIA Act is a central Act. It can't be extended to J&K before the state legislature gives its consent. Our police has efficiently dealt with terror issues and the proposal is tantamount to underestimating our own police and laws," Ali, a minister in the former PDP-BJP coalition government, said.
The RPC was enacted in 1862 by the then Dogra ruler of the state. Under the NIA Act, the agency can take up investigation in any case registered under its scheduled offenses without the consent of the state government.
"Since RPC is not part of the scheduled offenses of the NIA, the agency cannot take up probe in any case registered under it on its own. J&K has a special status granted by the Constitution which must not be disturbed or diluted," he said.