The Punjab government has approached the Supreme Court against the recent notification issued by the central government for extending the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) from 15 to 50km. The Centre has been asked to respond in 28 days, after which the case will be listed before the bench.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, Punjab Congress President, congratulated the state government and its legal team fighting for their principles by challenging 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.
I congratulate Punjab and it’s legal team to be the 1st to approach the Hon’ble Supreme Court by filing an original suit challenging the notification extending the BSF jurisdiction.— Navjot Singh Sidhu (@sherryontopp) December 11, 2021
In October, after backlash from the Congress-ruled Punjab over the central government’s decision to increase its powers with respect to border states Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, BSF had clarified that the step had been taken to “give uniformity to jurisdiction”.
As per a gazette notification dated October 11, BSF officials could “search, seize and arrest, at par with their police counterparts, 50 km into Punjab, Bengal and Assam. Earlier, the jurisdictional limit for BSF in these states was 15 km.”
Officials had then told News18 that BSF did not have power to investigate and had to hand over suspect/accused to local authorities. They said an arrest by BSF would be applicable for limited crime as per the Code of Criminal Procedure. The BSF could not be involved in any criminal act other than cases related to the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act, arms and ammunition.