NATIONAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY ACT, 2008
[No. 34 of 2008]
An Act to constitute an investigation agency at the national level to investigate and prosecute 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 and for matters
connected therewith or incidental thereto.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Fifty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:—
Short title, extent and application.
1. (1) This Act may be called the National Investigation Agency Act, 2008.
(2) It extends to the whole of India and it applies also—
(a) to citizens of India outside India;
(b) to persons in the service of the Government wherever they may be; and
(c) to persons on ships and aircrafts registered in India wherever they may be.
2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,—
(a)”Agency” means the National Investigation Agency constituted under section 3;
(b)”Code” means the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 (2 of 1974.);
(c)”High Court” means the High Court within whose jurisdiction the Special Court is situated;
(d)”prescribed” means prescribed by rules;
(e)”Public Prosecutor” means a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor or a Special
Public Prosecutor appointed under section 15;
(f) “Schedule” means the Schedule to this Act;
(g)”Scheduled Offence” means an offence specified in the Schedule;
(h) “Special Court” means a Special Court constituted under section 11 or, as the case may be,
under section 22;
(i) words and expressions used but not defined in this Act and defined in the Code shall have the
meanings respectively assigned to them in the Code.
(2) Any reference in this Act to any enactment or any provision thereof shall, in relation to an area inwhich such enactment or such provision is not in force, be construed as a reference to the corresponding
law or the relevant provision of the corresponding law, if any. in force in that area.
CHAPTER II NATIONAL
Constitution of National Investigation Agency.
3. (1) Notwithstanding anything in the Police Act. 1861 (5 of 1861.), the Central Government may
constitute a special agency to be called the National Investigation Agency for investigation and
prosecution of offences under the Acts specified in the Schedule.
(2) Subject to any orders which the Central Government may make in this behalf, officers of the Agency
shall have throughout India in relation to the investigation of Scheduled Offences and arrest of persons
concerned in such offences, all the powers, duties, privileges and liabilities which police officers have in
connection with the investigation of offences committed therein.
(3) Any officer of the Agency of, or above, the rank of Sub-Inspector may, subject to any orders which
the Central Government may make in this behalf, exercise throughout India, any of the powers of the
officer-in-charge of a police station in the area in which he is present for the time being and when so
exercising such powers shall, subject to any such orders as aforesaid, be deemed to be an
officer-in-charge of a police station discharging the functions of such an officer within the limits of his
Superintendence of National Investigation Agency.
4. (1) The superintendence of the Agency shall vest in the Central Government.
(2) The administration of the Agency shall vest in an officer designated as the Director-General
appointed in this behalf by the Central Government who shall exercise in respect of the Agency such of
the powers exercisable by a Director-General of Police in respect of the police force in a State, as the
Central Government may specify in this behalf.
Manner of constitution of Agency and conditions of service of members.
5. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Agency shall be constituted in such manner as may be
prescribed and the conditions of service of persons employed in the Agency shall be such as may be
CHAPTER III INVESTIGATION BY THE NATIONAL
Investigation of Scheduled Offences.
6. (1) On receipt of information and recording thereof under section 154 of the Code relating to any
Scheduled Offence the officer-in-charge of the police station shall forward the report to the State
(2) On receipt of the report under sub-section (1), the State Government shall forward the report to the
Central Government as expeditiously as possible.
(3) On receipt of report from the State Government, the Central Government shall determine on the
basis of information made available by the State Government or received from other sources, within
fifteen days from the date of receipt of the report, whether the offence is a Scheduled Offence or not and
also whether, having regard to the gravity of the offence and other relevant factors, it is a fit case to be
investigated by the Agency.(4) Where the Central Government is of the opinion that the offence is a Scheduled Offence and it is a fit
case to be investigated by the Agency, it shall direct the Agency to investigate the said offence.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, if the Central Government is of the opinion that
a Scheduled Offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under this Act, it may, suo
motu, direct the Agency to investigate the said offence.
(6) Where any direction has been given under sub-section (4) or sub-section (5), the State Government
and any police officer of the State Government investigating the offence shall not proceed with the
investigation and shall forthwith transmit the relevant documents and records to the Agency.
(7) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby declared that till the Agency takes up the investigation of the
case, it shall be the duty of the officer-in-charge of the police station to continue the investigation.
Power to transfer investigation to State Government.
7. While investigating any offence under this Act, the Agency, having regard to the gravity of the
offence and other relevant factors, may—
(a) if it is expedient to do so, request the State Government to associate itself with the investigation;
(b) with the previous approval of the Central Government, transfer the case to the State Government
for investigation and trial of the offence.
Power to investigate connected offences.
8. While investigating any Scheduled Offence, the Agency may also investigate any other offence which
the accused is alleged to have committed if the offence is connected with the Scheduled Offence.
State Government to extend assistance to National Investigation Agnecy.
9. The State Government shall extend all assistance and co-operation to the Agency for investigation of
the Scheduled Offences.
Power of State Government to investigate Scheduled Offences.
10. Save as otherwise provided in this Act, nothing contained in this Act shall affect the powers of the
State Government to investigate and prosecute any Scheduled Offence or other offences under any law
for the time being in force.
Power of Central Government to constitute Special Courts.
11. (1) The Central Government shall, by notification in the Official Gazette, for the trial of Scheduled
Offences, constitute one or more Special Courts for such area or areas, or for such case or class or group
of cases, as may be specified in the notification.
(2) Where any question arises as to the jurisdiction of any Special Court, it shall be referred to the
Central Government whose decision in the matter shall be final.
(3) A Special Court shall be presided over by a judge to be appointed by the Central Government on the
recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(4) The Agency may make an application to the Chief Justice of the High Court for appointment of a
Judge to preside over the Special Court.
(5) On receipt of an application under sub-section (4), the Chief Justice shall, as soon as possible and notlater than seven days, recommend the name of a judge for being appointed to preside over the Special
(6) The Central Government may, if required, appoint an additional judge or additional judges to the
Special Court, on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the High Court.
(7) A person shall not be qualified for appointment as a judge or an additional judge of a Special Court
unless he is, immediately before such appointment, a Sessions Judge or an Additional Sessions Judge in
(8) For the removal of doubts, it is hereby provided that the attainment, by a person appointed as a judge
or an additional judge of a Special Court, of the age of superannuation under the rules applicable to him
in the service to which he belongs shall not affect his continuance as such judge or additional judge and
the Central Government may by order direct that he shall continue as judge until a specified date or until
completion of the trial of the case or cases before him as may be specified in that order.
(9) Where any additional judge or additional judges is or are appointed in a Special Court, the judge of
the Special Court may, from time to time, by general or special order, in writing, provide for the
distribution of business of the Special Court among all judges including himself and the additional judge
or additional judges and also for the disposal of urgent business in the event of his absence or the
absence of any additional judge.
Place of sitting.
12. A Special Court may, on its own motion, or on an application made by the Public Prosecutor and if it
considers it expedient or desirable so to do, sit for any of its proceedings at any place other than its
ordinary place of sitting.
Jurisdiction of Special Courts.
13. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, every Scheduled Offence investigated by the
Agency shall be tried only by the Special Court within whose local jurisdiction it was committed.
(2) If, having regard to the exigencies of the situation prevailing in a State if,—
(a) it is not possible to have a fair, impartial or speedy trial; or
(b) it is not feasible to have the trial without occasioning the breach of peace or grave risk to the
safety of the accused, the witnesses, the Public Prosecutor or a judge of the Special Court or any of
(c) it is not otherwise in the interests of justice,
the Supreme Court may transfer any case pending before a Special Court to any other Special Court
within that State or in any other State and the High Court may transfer any case pending before a Special
Court situated in that State to any other Special Court within the State.
(3) The Supreme Court or the High Court, as the case may be, may act under this sect/on either on the
application of the Central Government or a party interested and any such application shall be made by
motion, which shall, except when the applicant is the Attorney-General for India, be supported by an
affidavit or affirmation.
Powers of Special Courts with respect to other offences.
14. (1) When trying any offence, a Special Court may also try any other offence with which the accused
may, under the Code be charged, at the same trial if the offence is connected with such other offence.
(2) If, in the course of any trial under this Act of any offence, it is found that the accused person has
committed any other offence under this Act or under any other law, the Special Court may convict such
person of such other offence and pass any sentence or award punishment authorised by this Act or, asthe case may be, under such other law.
15. (1) The Central Government shall appoint a person to be the Public Prosecutor and may appoint one
or more persons to be the Additional Public Prosecutor or Additional Public Prosecutors:
Provided that the Central Government may also appoint for any case or class or group of cases a Special
(2) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed as a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public
Prosecutor or a Special Public Prosecutor under this section unless he has been in practice as an
Advocate for not less than seven years or has held any post, for a period of not less than seven years,
under the Union or a State, requiring special knowledge of law.
(3) Every person appointed as a Public Prosecutor or an Additional Public Prosecutor or a Special Public
Prosecutor under this section shall be deemed to be a Public Prosecutor within the meaning of clause («)
of section 2 of the Code, and the provisions of the Code shall have effect accordingly.
16. (1) A Special Court may take cognizance of any offence, without the accused being committed to it
for trial, upon receiving a complaint of facts that constitute such offence or upon a police report of such
(2) Where an offence triable by a Special Court is punishable with imprisonment for a term not
exceeding three years or with fine or with both, the Special Court may, notwithstanding anything
contained in sub-section (1) of section 260 or section 262 of the Code, try the offence in a summary way
in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Code and the provisions of sections 263 to 265 of the
Code shall, so far as may be, apply to such trial:
Provided that when, in the course of a summary trial under this sub-section, it appears to the Special
Court that the nature of the case is such that it is not desirable to try it in a summary way, the Special
Court shall recall any witnesses who may have been examined and proceed to re-hear the case in the
manner provided by the provisions of the Code for the trial of such offence and the said provisions shall
apply to, and in relation to, a Special Court as they apply to and in relation to a Magistrate:
Provided further that in the case of any conviction in a summary trial under this section, it shall be
lawful for a Special Court to pass a sentence of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year and
with fine which may extend to five lakh rupees.
(3) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, a Special Court shall, for the purpose of trial of any
offence, have all the powers of a Court of Session and shall try such offence as if it were a Court of
Session so far as may be in accordance with the procedure prescribed in the Code for the trial before a
Court of Session.
(4) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, every case transferred to a Special Court under subsection
(2) of section 13 shall be dealt with as if such case had been transferred under section 406 of the Code to
such Special Court.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, but subject to the provisions of section 299 of the
Code, a Special Court may, if it thinks fit and for reasons to be recorded by it, proceed with the trial in
the absence of the accused or his pleader and record the evidence of any Witness, subject to the right of
the accused to recall the witness for cross-examination,
Protection of witnesses.
17. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, the proceedings under this Act may, for reasons
to be recorded in writing, be held in camera if the Special Court so desires.
(2) On an application made by a witness in any proceeding before it or by the Public Prosecutor inrelation to such witness or on its own motion, if the Special Court is satisfied that the life of such
witness is in danger, it may, for reasons to be recorded in writing, take such measures as it deems fit for
keeping the identity and address of such witness secret.
(3) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of subsection (2), the measures
which a Special Court may take under that sub-section may include—
(a) the holding of the proceedings at a place to be decided by the Special Court;
(b) the avoiding of the mention of the names and addresses of the witnesses in its orders or
judgments or in any records of the case accessible to public;
(c) the issuing of any directions for securing that the identity and address of the witnesses are not
(d) a decision that it is in the public interest to order that all or any of the proceedings pending
before such a Court shall not be published in any manner.
(4) Any person who contravenes any decision or direction issued under sub-section (3) shall be
punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine which may
extend to one thousand rupees
Section for presecution.
18. No prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings shall be instituted in any court of law, except with the
previous sanction of the Central Government, against any member of the Agency or any person acting
on his behalf in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by
Trial by Special Court to have precedence.
19. The trial under this Act of any offence by a Special Court shall be held on day-today basis on all
working days and have precedence over the trial of any other case against the accused in any other court
(not being a Special Court) and shall be concluded in preference to the trial of such other case and
accordingly the trial of such other case shall, if necessary, remain in abeyance.
Power to transfer cases to regular courts.
20. Where, after taking cognizance of any offence, a Special Court is of the opinion that the offence is
not triable by it, it shall, notwithstanding that it has no jurisdiction to try such offence, transfer the case
for the trial of such offence to any court having jurisdiction under the Code and the Court to which the
case is transferred may proceed with the trial of the offence as if it had taken cognizance of the offence.
21. (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, an appeal shall lie from any judgment, sentence
or order, not being an interlocutory order, of a Special Court to the High Court both on facts and on law.
(2) Every appeal under sub-section (1) shall be heard by a bench of two Judges of the High Court and
shall, as far as possible, be disposed of within a period of three months from the date of admission of the
(3) Except as aforesaid, no appeal or revision shall lie to any court from any judgment, sentence or order
including an interlocutory order of a Special Court.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (3) of section 378 of the Code, an appeal shall lie
to the High Court against an order of the Special Court granting or refusing bail.
(5) Every appeal under this section shall be preferred within a period of thirty days from the date of die
judgment, sentence or order appealed from:Provided that the High Court may entertain an appeal after the expiry of the said period of thirty days if
it is satisfied that the appellant had sufficient cause for not preferring the appeal within the period of
Provided further that no appeal shall be entertained after the expiry of period of ninety days.
Power of State Government to constitute Special Courts.
22. (1) The State Government may constitute one or more Special Courts for the trial of offences under
any or all the enactments specified in the Schedule.
(2) The provisions of this Chapter shall apply to the Special Courts constituted by the State Government
under sub-section (1) and shall have effect subject to the following modifications, namely—
(i) references to “Central Government” in sections 11 and 15 shall be construed as references to
(ii) reference to “Agency” in sub-section (1) of section 13 shall be construed as a reference to the
“investigation agency of the State Government”;
(iii) reference to “Attorney-General for India” in sub-section (3) of section 13 shall be construed as
reference to “Advocate-General of the State”.
(3) The jurisdiction conferred by this Act on a Special Court shall, until a Special Court is constituted by
the State Government under sub-section (1) in the case of any offence punishable under this Act,
notwithstanding anything contained in the Code, be exercised by the Court of Session of the division in
which such offence has been committed and it shall have all the powers and follow the procedure
provided under this Chapter.
(4) On and from the date when the Special Court is constituted by the State Government the trial of any
offence investigated by the State Government under the provisions of this Act, which would have been
required to be held before the Special Court, shall stand transferred to that Court on the date on which it
Power of High Courts to make rules.
23. The High Court may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make such rules, as it may deem
necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Act relating to Special Courts within its territory.
Power to remove difficulties.
24. (1) If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may,
by order published in the Official Gazette make such provisions, not inconsistent with the provisions of
this Act, as may appear to it to be necessary or expedient for removing the difficulty:
Provided that no order shall be made, under this section after the expiration of two years from the
commencement of this Act.
(2) Every order made under this section shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is made, before each
House of Parliament.
Power to make rules.
25. (1) The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules for carrying out
the provisions of this Act.(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality to the foregoing power, such rules may provide
for all or any of the following matters, namely:—
(a) the manner of constitution of the Agency and the conditions of service of persons employed in
the Agency under section 5;
(b) any other matter which is required to be, or may be, prescribed.
Laying of rules.
26. Every rule made by the Central Government under this Act shall be laid, as soon as may be after it is
made, before each House of Parliament, while it is in session, for a total period of thirty days which may
be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the
session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agrees in
making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall
thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be of no effect, as the case may be; so, however,
that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously
done under that rule.
[See section 2(1)(f)]
1. The Atomic Energy Act, 1962 (33 of 1962);
2. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967);
3. The Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982 (65 of 1982);
4. The Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 (66 of 1982);
5. The SAARC Convention (Suppression of Terrorism) Act, 1993 (36 of 1993);
6. The Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on
Continental Shelf Act, 2002 (69 of 2002);
7. The Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities)
Act, 2005 (21 of 2005);
8. Offences under—
(a) Chapter VI of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) [sections 121 to 130 (both inclusive)];
(b) Sections 489-A to 489-E (both inclusive) of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).