Punjab moves SC against extension of BSF jurisdiction, Sidhu congratulates govt

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The Centre has been asked to respond in 28 days after which the case will be listed before the bench.

The Punjab government has approached the Supreme Court against the Centre’s recent notification extending the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force from 15 to 50km. The suit was listed before the Registrar on Friday and the Centre has been asked to respond in 28 days after which the case will be listed before the bench.

Punjab Congress chief Navjot Sidhu congratulated the government and its legal team for being the first state to challenge the extension of BSF jurisdiction. “The fight to retain the principles embodied in the Constitution i.e to retain the federal structure and autonomy of the states has begun… Notice issued to the Centre to respond,” Sidhu tweeted.

 

 

The ministry of home affairs in October amended the jurisdiction of the BSF and in a notification said that effective from October 11, 2021, the BSF can conduct searches, arrest suspects and make seizures up to an area of 50 km inside Indian territory from the International Border along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders. Empowered by this amendment, the BSF is now authorised to extend its jurisdiction in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam. In five northeastern states (Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, and Meghalaya), the BSF’s jurisdiction has been curtailed by 20km while in Gujarat, it has been curtained by 30km. There has been no change in their jurisdiction in Rajasthan.

“The central government has revised the ‘Schedule’ specifying the border stretch where BSF would have powers of search, seizure and arrest under Acts like Passport Act, NDPS Act, Customs Act as well as Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Meghalaya; UTs of J&K and Ladakh; and 50 km-belt in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Bengal and Assam,” the MHA notification said.

Under Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968, the Centre is empowered to notify the area and the extent of the force’s jurisdiction from time to time.

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