Locating India's Intelligence Agencies in a Democratic Framework

Danish Sheikh

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India’s internal and external intelligence agencies—the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing, respectively—carry out numerous operations ranging from counter-terrorism and tackling separatist movements to critical infrastructure protection: all without any statutory charter in place empowering them to do so. In addition, we have the National Technical Research Organization, modeled on the USA’s National Security Agency, set up as an intelligence-gathering agency in 2004. With the rising threat to national security comes the need for the strongest, most efficient intelligence framework possible—provided it remains grounded in a sphere of legality.

Taking lapses of security, efficiency, and privacy as points of concern, this monograph begins by making a case for crafting an oversight framework for India’s intelligence agencies. Examining statutory frameworks in other jurisdictions in detail, it goes on to analyse best practices and insights from legislations across the world to make recommendations for the kind of structure most suitable for India.

Danish Sheikh Danish Sheikh is a graduate from the Nalsar University of Law, Hyderabad. He has served as editor of the Indian Journal of Constitutional Law and the Nalsar Student Law Review, and is currently working as a researcher at the Alternative Law Forum. He served as a Research Consultant for ORF’s overarching project on Intelligence Reforms. This monograph is an outcome of his report on Democratic Control of India’s Intelligence Agencies.



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