The Home Ministry has designated 44 senior officers from the central, state and Union Territory governments, apart from entities like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), to serve as nodal authority for seizure of funds and other financial assets held by anyone engaged in or supporting terrorism.
As per official memorandum of the counter terrorism and counter radicalisation unit of the ministry, the nodal officers have been designated for the implementation of section 51(A) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967, under which powers of the central government are delegated to state, immigration and regulatory authorities to freeze, seize or attach funds or economic resources under anti-terror laws.
The nodal officers were appointed from among the regulatory authorities - RBI, Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDA), SEBI and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) - who provide a list of designated individuals and entities to banks, stock exchanges and insurance companies for blocking funds, financial assets of those designated under the anti-terror act.
"The 44 nodal officers who have been designated will help the law enforcement agencies to seize funds and other financial assets held by anyone engaged in terrorism or supporting such violent acts," a senior home ministry official told NDTV.
After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, the anti-terror law UAPA was amended to insert section 51(A) with a view to empower states and regulatory authorities to seize, freeze assets of individual and entities engaged in terrorism.
The Ministry of External Affairs provides a list of individuals and entities, subject to UN sanction, which is further shared by the Home Ministry with the states and the Union Territories, the official added.
Recently anti-terror probe agency NIA has seized a number of properties belonging to Kashmiri separatists leaders and those who were found to have supported terror activities with illicit money in the northeast that include an MLA. Similarly, different state police forces have also attached funds and properties of people supporting terrorism in the past.