The Naresh Chandra Committee on national security has suggested the proposed NCTC not be empowered to carry out arrests and searches under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. The Centre now proposes to ring NCTC’s power with enough caveats so that it is exercised only as a “matter of last resort”, said a source.
Sources also said the Centre is also considering creating the NCTC — conceived as the country’s principal counter-terror agency — outside the Intelligence Bureau in order to get around another major objection the states had raised to deny their consent. The Naresh Chandra Committee has, however, not given such a recommendation.
The panel, headed by the former Union cabinet secretary, has also recommended that a full-time advisor be appointed to oversee various intelligence agencies, to ensure no duplication and to avoid turf battles between them.
The proposed concessions to states on NCTC’s power to make arrests and to locate it outside the IB can possibly provide a breakthrough to the central government to reactivate its proposal to set up the federal coordination body on terrorism.
Chandra on Thursday made an elaborate presentation to the National Security Council headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and comprising senior ministers, including P Chidambaram and A K Antony.