PDP leader opposes bringing RPC under NIA

SRINAGAR: Senior PDP leader Chowdhary Zulfkar Ali Thursday said the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), Jammu and Kashmir’s criminal law, should not be brought under the purview of the NIA act as the present law is best suited to deal with all cases including those related to terror.

“There is no need of extending the role of National Investigation Agency (NIA) to Jammu and Kashmir. The state Police is capable of investigating terror issues. It is the best law to deal with all cases including those related to terror,” Ali said.

J-K Governor N N Vohra had on Wednesday said RPC should be brought under the purview of the NIA act that could give extraordinary powers to the central probe agency to take over any terror case.

In his address at the 7th foundation day of the NIA, Vohra had said the Union Home Ministry should take urgent steps to ensure that NIA’s legal framework is suitably modified to enable effective investigation in terror cases and favoured bringing RPC under the ambit of NIA Act.

Ali said there was nothing bad in NIA Act and some of its good provisions could be incorporated in the Ranbir Panel Code.

Reacting to his statement, Ali said J&K is a special category state under Article 370 of Indian Constitution and no central law is applicable to the state till ratification by the state legislature.

The former PDP minister said the NIA Act is a central Act and the same cannot be extended to the state before the state legislature gives its consent.

Appreciating J&K Police for efficiently dealing with terror issues, Ali said when J&K Police is doing excellent job in dealing terror cases under Ranbir Panel Code, there was no reason to “underestimate our own police and law.”

He said that RPC was enacted in 1862 by the then Dogra ruler of the state and the law is working efficiently for the last 154 years.

Under the NIA Act, the agency can take up investigation in any case registered under its scheduled offenses without the consent of the state government.

“Since RPC is not part of the scheduled offenses of the NIA, the agency cannot take up probe in any case registered under it on its own,” he said.

About the Armed Forces Special Power Act, Ali said all central laws which were experimented in J&K did not serve their purpose and instead added to the miseries of the people of the state.

He said since the PDP has taken a stand on gradual revocation of AFSPA from the state, the question of extending new central laws does not arise.

He said J&K’s special status granted by the Constitution must not be “disturbed or diluted.”

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