Jammu, October 14 (KMS): The Border Security Force (BSF) will continue to have the powers of arrest, search and seizure on the lines of police in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir as the revised guidelines issued by the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs didn’t set any boundaries for the BSF in the territory.
However, the MHA has extended the BSF jurisdiction in other border States like Punjab, West Bengal and Assam but decreased the limit in Gujarat.
A notification to this effect was issued in exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-Section (1) of Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968.
The BSF, like present, will have powers in whole of the area comprised IIOJK. The notification will allow the border guarding force to execute the powers of search, seizure and arrest for the purpose of prevention of any offence punishable under the Passport Act, the Registration of Foreigners Act, the Central Excises and Salt Act, the Foreigners Act, the Foreign Exchange Management Act, the Customs Act or of any cognisable offence punishable under any other Central Act, the MHA notification said.
An officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of member of the BSF is empowered under the CrPC to exercise and discharge the powers and duties without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant.
“The officer is empowered to arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made or credible information received. A BSF officer will have the powers to conduct search of a place entered by a person sought to be arrested in its new area of jurisdiction,” as per the revised guidelines.
The about 2.65-lakh personnel paramilitary force guards over 6,300 of Indian fronts with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
However, in Assam, West Bengal and Punjab, the BSF has got the right to search and arrest on the lines of police up to an area of 50 kilometers inside the Indian territory from the International Border (IB) along India-Pakistan and India-Bangladesh. Previously, this range was 15 kilometers from the International Border and the range has now increased by 35 kilometers.
While, the jurisdiction of BSF in Gujarat has been reduced from 80 kilometers (from the border) to 50 kilometers, in Rajasthan, the limit has been kept static at 50 kilometers.