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Day after Kerala approaching SC against CAA, Chhattisgarh moves apex court against NIA Act

NEW DELHI: The Congress-led Chhattisgarh government became the first state to challenge the National Investigation Act 2008 (NIA Act) before the Supreme Court on Wednesday and sought the law to be declared as unconstitutional.

The move comes a day after the Kerala government challenged the Citizenship Amendment Act under Article 131 of the Constitution.

The Chhattisgarh government has filed an original suit under Article 131 of the Constitution which provides for the state to move directly to the Supreme Court in matters of a dispute against the Centre.

“The plaintiff (state) respectfully submits that the NIA Act is ultra vires to the Constitution and is beyond legislative competence of Parliament since the Act empowers the defendant (Centre) to create an agency for investigation, which, notwithstanding the NIA, is carried out by state police, which is a subject matter of the state under entry 2, List 2, Schedule 7, of the Constitution,” the plea stated.

The suit said the NIA Act in its present form not only takes away the power of conducting an investigation by the plaintiff (state) through police but also confers unfettered, discretionary and arbitrary powers on the defendant (Centre).

The state government said the provision of the Act leaves no room for coordination and pre-condition of consent in any form by the Centre from the state government which clearly is against the idea of state sovereignty as envisaged under the Constitution.

The NIA Act, 2008, was enacted with a view to constituting the NIA to investigate and prosecute people for offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, security of state, friendly relations with foreign states and offences under Acts enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations, its agencies and other international organisations.