Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 13
The Centre has issued a notification increasing the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) to give its officers the powers of arrest, search and seizure to the extent of 50 km from the borders inside the bordering states of Punjab, West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura.
According to the notification, which has been issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), BSF is now authorised to take action under CrPC, Passport Act and Passport (Entry to India) Act.
In the notification, the MHA said the border guarding force has been granted permission to conduct raids and arrests up to an area of 50 km inside from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh borders. Earlier, this range was 15 km.
Apart from this, BSF will also be able to search and arrest in Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Ladakh, it said.
However, along with this, the jurisdiction of BSF in Gujarat has been reduced and the extent of the border has been reduced from 80 km to 50 km, while in Rajasthan the radius area has been kept 50 km as before.
Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968, empowers the Centre to notify the area and extent of the border force’s operational mandate, from time to time.
In the notification, MHA said: “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”.
An officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of member of the BSF is now empowered under the CrPC to exercise and discharge the powers and duties without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant.
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