Government empowers NIA to probe offences under narcotics law

The National Investigation Agency office in New Delhi. File

The National Investigation Agency office in New Delhi. File

The government has empowered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate offences under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act so that the agency need not rely on local police or other agencies to unravel drug trade ties that emerge in the course of its counter-terrorism operations.

NIA officers of inspector rank and above have been vested with the same powers as an officer in charge of a police station under the 1985 NDPS law, as per a notification issued by the Revenue Department in the Ministry of Finance on Tuesday.

Officials said this change had been operationalised after consultations with State governments, and would help expedite the NIA in its probes such as the gold smuggling case in Kerala, where links had emerged with drug trafficking.

An NIA official said this was an an enabling provision so that NIA officers could seize narcotic substances, if any, found during searches in cases investigated by them.

“In the absence of such an enabling order, NIA officers could not seize the narcotic substances and were required to ask the local police to take up a separate case. This had become imperative as several cases of narco-terrorism are being investigated by NIA,” the official said.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2022 11:55:07 am |