Mumbai: Justifying enactment of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act and transferring the probe in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case to the agency, the Union government on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court that Parliament could enact any act for the whole or any part of the country.
The Home Ministry in its affidavit submitted before the high court also said that Central government has powers to enact any law and transfer investigation into any offence even if it concerns a particular state. The affidavit was filed in reply to a petition moved by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the prime accused in the 2008 bomb blast case, challenging the constitutional validity of the NIA and entrusting the investigations to NIA.
"Parliament has powers to enact any law for the whole or any part of territory of India," said the affidavit filed by N S Bist, Under Secretary, Home Ministry.
Defending the NIA Act, the ministry said that state agencies have limited sources whereas a national investigating agency has reciprocal relations with other countries besides the offences covered under the NIA Act have national and international ramifications.
Sadhvi had challenged the April 2011 order of the Central government assigning the investigations into the blast case to NIA, dubbing it as a "political conspiracy".
She argued that the government could not have done so without a nod from the state government. The petition claimed that NIA lacked retrospective powers to re-investigate those offences wherein charge sheet has already been filed by a state agency.
On September 29, 2008 a bomb exploded in the textile town of Malegaon killing six persons and injuring several others. Apart from Sadhvi, 11 others were arrested in the case and booked under the MCOCA Act.