Besides the proposal to keep the NCTC outside the Intelligence Bureau, the CCS will consider the changes to the original notification that is in abeyance following protests by some states.
The CCS would consider these changes in an attempt to assuage the grievances of the states, especially their complaint that NCTC powers encroached upon a state’s domain in law and order. CCS’s consideration could further pacify the agitated states and ensure they have a larger role in national counter-terror strategies.
The foremost proposal is to grant power to states to “requisition” the NSG as well as civil and military assistance for counter-terror operations. Now, both these powers are limited to the director of NCTC.
Under the original order, the NCTC was granted the power to requisition the services of the NSG or any other Central special forces. The new proposal envisages that state governments would also be able to place “requisition” for such forces.
It is a significant step forward from the existing rule, where states can only request the Centre for NSG or other special forces. The new norm would empower states to “requisition” not only NSG, but also the Marine Commandos of the navy, Para Commandos of the army, Garud of the air force as well as the Special Frontier Force under the cabinet secretariat.
Plans are also afoot to allow the counter-terrorism units of states to place requisition through NCTC for assistance from civil and military authorities for operations in respective states. The government would be looking at diluting the present positioning of NCTC, which is to “prescribe counter-terrorism priorities for each stakeholder”, in the interests of each stakeholder.
The CCS will also let state governments nominate the heads of their anti-terrorism squads or other counterterrorism wings as designated authorities under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Faced with strong opposition from several chief ministers to the earlier proposal of NCTC, the home ministry has prepared a revised plan. According to the new plan, the NCTC will now be kept out of the ambit of the IB and will be an independent entity directly reporting to the home ministry.