Showing posts with label National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Law Enforcement Technologies In India

Law enforcement plays a crucial role in maintaining law and order situation in a region. In India, the law enforcement responsibility is managed by numerous law enforcement agencies. Indian Constitution has demarcated law enforcement subject as a matter of State List. This means that a majority of law enforcement functions in various States are performed by respective State.

There are some functions that are closely related to law enforcement responsibilities and that require a unified approach. To take care of such issues, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs acts in a centralised manner.

The Union Home Ministry of India has prescribed many intelligence and law enforcement related projects that rely upon information and communication technology (ICT). These include projects like national intelligence grid (Natgrid), crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS), national counter terrorism centre (NCTC), etc.

All these efforts are praiseworthy and deserve public support. However, all of these projects are suffering from a common constitutional problem. None of these projects are governed by any constitutionally sound legal framework. These projects must maintain a balance between civil liberties and national security requirements. This balance is presently missing and these projects are operating with great disregard to constitutional rights and freedoms and human rights.

Similarly, we have no constitutionally sound legal framework for law enforcement and intelligence agencies of India. Parliamentary oversight of intelligence and law enforcement agencies of India is missing. After all intelligence gathering is not above right to privacy in all circumstances.

Take the example of the central bureau of investigation (CBI) and intelligence agencies like intelligence bureau (IB) of India. The Indian government is not willing to bring transparency and accountability regarding law enforcement and intelligence agencies of India.

The recent private bill titled intelligence services (powers and regulation) bill, 2011 was shelved out by none other than the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh who announced that law on intelligence agencies would be formulated soon. However, it proved nothing but a “time gaining tactics” and so far intelligence agencies of India are not governed by any legal framework and parliamentary oversight. Interestingly, even the central bureau of investigation (CBI) is riding the same boat. The draft central bureau of investigation act, 2010 is another example where the Indian government is just interested in making “declaration” with no actual “intention” to implement the same. It is high time to show political will to tackle these crucial and controversial issues as they cannot be ignored any more.

In our subsequent posts, we would cover the techno legal aspects of intelligence and law enforcement agencies of India.

Monday, February 20, 2012

National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India

National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of India is presently facing stiff oppositions. A majority of them are self created problems but some of them are also arising due to practical difficulties and internal turf war. The net result is that the obvious but unsolvable terrorism dilemma in India still continues.

NCTC, like other governmental projects, is not supported by any legal framework. This is the most inappropriate step taken by the Indian government in general and home ministry in particular. While the constitutionality of the National Investigation Agency Act 2008 (NIAA 2008) is still doubtful yet NCTC without a legal framework is definitely unconstitutional. By tagging it with the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 this unconstitutionality is not cured.

Add to this the list of other projects of home ministry like National Intelligence Grid (Natgrid) and other similar projects by other ministries like Aadhar project. None of these projects are supported by a legal framework of any kind and they are just pure executive orders violating the constitutional provisions.

Fortunately, the NCTC of India got the Cabinet approval. NCTC would be supported by Natgrid project, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), etc. There is no second opinion that intelligence work is not an excuse for non accountability. Similarly, there is also no second opinion that NCTC of India is also a much needed institution.

The NCTC Project of India is also “very significant” for the national security of India. Terrorist attacks against India are on increase and we need a “specilaised institution” like NCTC to provide and analyse valuable intelligence inputs and leads. However, the inadequacies and unconstitutionalities of NCTC project is proving costly and major hurdle for the successful implementation of the same.