New Delhi, Apr 27 - Faced with stiff opposition from several Chief Ministers, including UPA ally Mamata Banerjee, the Centre has circulated to all Chief Ministers the draft Standard Operating Procedures of proposed NCTC ahead of the May 5 crucial meeting here on the controversial issue.
In its efforts to evolve a consensus on NCTC, the Home Ministry has sent the draft SOPs listing powers and functions of the anti-terror hub's Standing Council which will have representatives of all state governments and the Centre.
The Centre also framed SOPs for exercise of power under section 3.1 and 3.2 of the office memorandum issued listing organisation, functions, powers and duties of National Counter Terrorism Centre.
Section 3.1 states the Director of NCTC shall be specified as the designated authority under section 2(e) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
Section 3.2 says officers of the operations division of NCTC shall have the power to arrest and the power to search under section 43A of the UA(P)A.
Both these two sections were vehemently opposed by the non-Congress Chief Ministers--Odisha's Naveen Patnaik, Tamil Nadu's J Jayalalitha, Gujarat's Narendra Modi, West Bengal's Mamata Banerjee and Bihar's Nitish Kumar besides others -- alleging by vesting such powers on NCTC, the Centre was trying to hurt the federal structure of the country and curb states' powers.
The Home Ministry also circulated the agenda papers for the May 5 specially convened meeting where it would explain the genesis, objectives, structure and powers of the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre.
The Centre explained about the need for NCTC and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, particularly the 43(A) and 43(B) which will be used by NCTC.
These two sections have raised the hackles of some states.
The UA(P) Act provision 43(A) empowers police to arrest and search while 43(B) says any officer arresting a person under section 43(A) shall inform him of the grounds for such arrest and every person arrested and article seized under section 43(A) shall be forwarded without unnecessary delay to the officer in charge of the nearest police station.
The agenda papers say there shall be a Standing Council consisting of Director NCTC, three Joint Directors and the chief of anti-terror organisation of each state. The Standing Council will meet as often as necessary and may also meet through video conference.
The Standing Council shall ensure that NCTC is the single and effective point of control and coordination of all counter terrorism measures. PTI