New Delhi, May 5: Advocating the need for setting up an anti-terror hub, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday said that the Centre is willing to examine every suggestion made by state governments on the formation of the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).
Addressing media here, Chidambaram said: “We are willing to examine every suggestions regarding the formation of the NCTC, as neither state or centre can fight alone.”
Centre is to examine concerns of some chief ministers on locating the National Counter Terrorism Centre in the intelleigence Bureau and undertaking operations even in exceptional cases. Addressing a Press Conference after the Chief Minster’s meeting in New Delhi on the issue, Home Minister Chidambaram said the decision to locate the centre – NCTC – in the IB was taken by Government on the basis of recommendations of 2001 GoM. He said many states have supported the anti-terror organisation and some have given qualified support but three have rejected the idea outright. He said suggestions of Chief ministers on the counter terrorism body will be carefully examined and consciously considered. Chidambaram said all were convinced that there is a need of counter terrorism body.
The Minister said, government has significantly succeeded in neutralizing terrorist modules with the help of different security agencies, though there were some failure too.To bring the failure to zero there is need of such body, he said.
He told the press that many chief ministers supported the setting up of the NCTC. Some extended qualified support and a few did agree.
Reports indicate that West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Tripura and Bihar opposed the setting up of the NCTC.
Earlier at the chief minister conference on NCTC, Chidambaram justified the setting up of NCTC, saying that the agency would be an important pillar of security infrastructure
“The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act was passed by Parliament in 1967. No one has questioned the validity of the Act. After the horrific attacks in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, there was an universal demand for strengthening the laws dealing with terrorism. Since Parliament was in session, it was decided to act without loss of time. All political parties joined together and unanimously passed two legislations: Act 34 of 2008 which is the National Investigation Agency Act and Act 35 of 2008 to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act,” he added.
He said in a note circulated earlier – and included in the agenda notes circulated for this meeting at pages 3-7 – we have dealt with the genesis, objectives, structure and powers of the National Counter Terrorism Centre.
“The note draws attention to section 2(e) of UA(P)A that provided for a ‘Designated Authority’. When section 43A was drafted, it was based on section 2(e) that was already part of the Act. The decision to vest certain powers in the Designated Authority was a conscious decision taken by Parliament,” he said.
” At the same time, Parliament took care to limit the exercise of powers under section 43A to cases where an offence under UA(P)A had been committed or there was a design to commit such an offence. Further limitations were placed through sections 43B and 43C. In fact, section 43B is a clear acknowledgement of the exclusive power of the State Government to register a case and deal with the arrested person or the seized article,” he added. (ANI)