National Investigation Agency (NIA)

By Nitin Singhal|Updated : March 21st, 2021

National Investigation Agency was constituted under the provisions of the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008 (NIA Act) in the year 2009. It was established after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, popularly known as attacks of 26/11. This attack alarmed the government to have a special and separate agency to deal with the terror-related crimes in the country. National Investigation Agency works as a central counter-terrorism law enforcement agency in the country. NIA’s headquarter is situated in New Delhi, with branch offices at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Guwahati, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kochi, Jammu and Raipur.

The National Investigation Agency is headed by a Director-General. He is appointed by the central government. His powers are similar to the powers exercised by a Director-General of Police in respect of the police force in a state. NIA also has a separate cell known as TFFC cell dealing with the matter of fake currency notes and issues of terror funding. National Investigation Agency works under the control of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. The state government provide all assistance and cooperation to the NIA for investigation of the offences specified under the NIA Act.

National Investigation Agency(NIA): Functions; Vision; Jurisdiction; National Investigating Agency(Amendment) Act,2019

Reasons for introducing NIA Bill by Government: 

  1. Past few years have seen many attacks apart from attacks on borders and in Naxalite areas. India has been a victim of terrorist attacks and bomb blasts in hinterlands as well as major cities.
  2. Many of these incidents have complex linkage both with inter-state and international linkages. These include incidents of smuggling of arms and drugs, circulation of fake Indian currencies and infiltrations from across the borders, etc.
  3. Therefore the Government felt the need for establishing an agency at the central level for the investigation of offences related to terrorism and certain other acts which have ramification for the Nation as a whole.
  4. Several committees and the Second Administrative Reform Commission have also made recommendations for this.
  5. The Government keeping in mind the interest involves had proposed to enact a legislation to make provisions for the establishment of an NIA. These provisions are to be incorporated in the National Investigation Agency Bill, 2008.


  • The NIA under the National Investigation Agency Act is mandated to investigate and prosecute offences mentioned under the act. As per its mandate, the NIA collects, collates and analyses counter-terrorism based investigations. It also shares information with sister investigation, intelligence and law enforcement units both at the level of the centre and the State.
  • NIA investigate and prosecute offences in respect of the acts specified in the schedule of the National Investigation Agency Act. These include offences affecting Sovereignty, Unity and Integrity of India and Security of State etc.
  • It also functions as a body which provides assistance to and seeks assistance from other intelligence and investigation agencies.
  • It has the power to take other such measures which may be necessary for speedy and effective implementation of the provision of the NIA Act.


  1. It aims to be a professional investigation agency matching the best international standards.
  2. It aims to create deterrence for existing and potential terrorist groups in the country.
  3. It aims to set some standards of excellence in counter-terrorism and other National security-related questions, by the way of creating a highly trained and partnership-oriented workforce.
  4. It also aims to create a repository of all terrorist-related information.


It involves concurrent powers along with other investigating agencies to investigate and prosecute the offences affecting the Sovereignty, Security and integrity of India, the security of the state , friendly relations with foreign states and offences under various acts enacted to implement international treaties.

NIA is empowered to investigate terror attacks, bomb blasts, hijacking, attacks on nuclear installations and use of weapons of mass destruction. With the NIA (Amendment) Act,2019 the jurisdiction of NIA has increased.

Mission of NIA as established by the National Investigation Agency Act is as follows:

  • Use of latest technology and scientific methods for accurate and minute investigation of the offences. To set up standards so that all case entrusted with the NIA are detected surely.
  • To ensure speedy and fair trials.
  • To create a professional workforce with regular training in best practices around the world.
  • To create a professional and result oriented organisation, upholding the Constitution of India and laws of the land, giving prime importance to universal human rights and dignity of the individual.
  • Building a vast database of information regarding individual terrorists and terrorist organisations, In order to share it with state and other investigating agencies.
  • Displaying scientific temper while performing the duties assigned to them under the act.
  • Maintaining cordial relations with the government of states and union territories.
  • Studying and analysing laws related to terrorism in other countries and as well as evaluating the laws in India.
  • Winning the confidence of the citizens of India by the way of selfless and fearless working.

National Investigating Agency(Amendment) Act,2019:

  1. It provides that Officers of the NIA shall have similar powers, privileges and liabilities as being exercised by the police officers in connection with the investigation of offences not only in India but outside India also.
  2. It is also empowered to probe the offences relating to human trafficking, counterfeit currency, cyber terrorism, manufacturing and sale of prohibited arms and explosive substances.
  3. It enhances the provision of the Act to persons who commit a scheduled offence beyond India against any Citizen of India or affecting the interest of India.
  4. It empowers the central government, to direct the NIA to register the case with respect to a scheduled offence committed outside India.
  5. It provides for the central as well as state government to designate Session Courts as Special courts for conducting the trial of offences under the NIA Act.

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