Arbitrary Flow Of Power To The Centre

Analysing How The NIA Can Get Away With Gross Human Rights Violation

Team Law Community
June 29, 2020


The National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 (“NIA Act”) brought into existence the National Investigation Agency (“NIA”) for combating terrorism in India. It is the Central Counter Terrorism Law Enforcement Agency having an overriding authority over the state police authorities. It has special investigative powers flowing from the central administration and is answerable only to the home ministry. Now the issue that has been raised by various human rights advocacy groups and scholars alike is regarding the accountability and fairness of such investigative procedures and the same would form the crux of this discussion.

Administrative arbitrariness and violation of civil liberties and even basic human rights for that matter go hand in hand. Brutality against suspects in custody for extracting information and/or simple dissent in the form of having a different political opinion is a blot on the concept of basic respect for these rights and there needs to be a dynamic discourse to generate awareness.

Investigation or state-sponsored torture?

Looking back at the Burdwan bomb blast of 2014, certain issues with the investigation and interrogation of the prime women suspects were raised. These included deprivations of fundamental liberties such as food, clothing and contact with family members. The deplorable conditions in which the accused were kept in at the custodial facility is not in conformity with the concept of preserving human rights of prisoners and was condemned by the prominent Bengal government appointed Bandi Mukti Committee.

It was also reported that the suspects were taken into custody and subsequently detained along with their infant children which is a gross violation of human rights and is plainly insensitive on the part of NIA. Such apathy towards suspects just because of the community they belong to is a clear indicator of an anti-Islamic belief. This contributes to percolation of such a thought process toward all levels of administration since the manner in which the NIA operates is reflective of the Central Government’s attitude.

Another point which needs to be pinned to this piece is regarding the international standards prescribed by the Bangkok rules and how the manner of detention and interrogation is not in conformity to them.Such a disregard shown by NIA for internationally accepted norms in handling such issues is highly condemnable and needs to be rectified for ensuring just,fair and reasonable execution of the rule of law. Constitutional immorality cannot be excused whatsoever and unwarranted indifference towards the custodial rights needs to be checked in order to maintain the moral fabric of the executive.


From the above section it is self-evident that whenever the lines between arbitrary and fair are blurred, it results in the violation of a certain set of entitlements, in this case, of the one guaranteed under Article 21. Depriving a person though procedure established by law is acceptable only to the extent where the implementation of such law is on the basis of reasonable and unbiased means. Communalism and apathy towards a certain community when creep into the legal framework can cause a large number of problems.

It seems that the tenets of liberty, equality and fraternity are often overlooked during the lawmaking process, which is highly archaic and orthodox and there is an urgent requirement to frame laws which are non-discriminatory in all aspects.

Law Community, Opening New Horizons for you!