According to Media Reports, the Central Government’s Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on Thursday cleared the proposal to set up NCTC. It is expected that the NCTC may get Cabinet Approval this month. It is also expected that NCTC would be an expanded form of the Multi-Agency-centre (MAC), the Nodal Intelligence Cell under the Union Home Ministry.
NCTC would be the “Central Body” that would include, among others, the Intelligence Bureau (IB)’s MAC, Joint Intelligence Committee, National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) and the National Security Guard. NCTC would be supported by National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) Project, Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), etc.
Projects like NCTC, NATGRID, CCTNS, etc are Crucial for National Security of India. However, they must be “Properly Planned and Executed”. These Projects should not face the same “Fate” that the Aadhar Project of India has faced.
These Projects must be implemented with Proper Planning and Foresight. Further, a “Special Care” must be taken get “Parliamentary Oversight” for these Projects before they are made “Operational”. These Projects cannot serve their purpose if they do not defend Civil Liberties and ensure Procedural Safeguards for Protection of Human Rights in Cyberspace through a Legal Framework. For instance, Intelligence Gathering should not violate Privacy Rights of Indians.
The NCTC would be reporting to the Union Home Minister and it has been reported that it would be “Accountable to the Parliament”. Presently Intelligence Agencies of India are not governed by any Legal Framework. Even the draft Intelligence Services (Powers and Regulations) Bill 2011 has failed to become an applicable law. Strangely, even the proposed Central Bureau of Investigation Act 2010 failed to become an applicable law.
As on date, both Intelligence Agencies of India and CBI are working in India without “Constitutional Laws” governing their operations. This is a “Serious Issue” that Indian Government must resolves as soon as possible. Even for the successful operations of Projects like NCTC, NATGRID, CCTNS, such “Parliamentary Oversight” is essential. I hope Mr. P. Chidambaram would consider these issues on priority basis.