The government is mulling to allow India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe cases involving attacks on Indians or Indian assets in foreign countries, reported the Press Trust of India. This will be an additional power to the agency set up to investigate all terror-related cases.

Citing an official source, the news agency said the home ministry is planning to give more authority to the agency by amending the NIA Act, 2008. A note on this will be submitted to the Union Cabinet for clearance, after which a Parliamentary assent on the amendments will be included in the NIA Act, the source said.

India suspects Pakistan-based terrorists carried out the Jan. 2 attack on Pathankot Air Force base, and this may have been a motivation behind the government's move, said the report. The agency will also be bestowed with special powers to observe the activities of Pakistani terror groups and also Middle-East extremist outfits like the ISIS. This will ensure early detection of harmful activities targeted towards India.

All of these will require the permission by the host governments in the foreign countries, said PTI.

A different amendment is contemplated to authorise NIA to commute the charges of death penalty to life imprisonment in cases involving plea bargaining.

The source continued that several administrative gaps continue to exist in the NIA Act, which was enacted immediately after the 26/11 Mumbai attack, and these amendments are in line to plug them up.

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