Naveen opposes MHA order on NCTC

Bhubaneswar: Joining hands with his West Bengal counterpart, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday asked the Centre to review a recent Union Home Ministry order on the powers of National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

"The powers of NCTC appear to be an infringement on the powers of the state governments… Therefore I must ask you, sir, to review this order which has draconian overtones," he said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Noting that he had a discussion with the West Bengal government, Patnaik said, "This afternoon, Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms Mamata Banerjee spoke to me over telephone and apprised me about this very serious matter. It seems to be infringing the federal rights of the states."

The union ministry of home affairs in an order issued on February 3 vested power in the NCTC which, he said, appear to be an infringement on the powers of the state governments in matters of investigation and maintenance of order.

"Para 3.1 of the order empowers director, NCTC as designated authority under section 2(e) of the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, 1967," Patnaik said adding this would give officers of NCTC powers to arrest and search under section 3A of the UPA without consulting the state governments.

Further, para 5.1 of the order requires all authorities, including functionaries of state governments to provide information, documents and reports to NCTC. "Would it not have been advisable for the Union government to have prior consultation with the state governments?" Patnaik asked in his letter. "This clearly seems to be infringement on the federal structure of the state," he said.

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