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Punjab Moves SC Against Center Decision to Extend BSF Jurisdiction to 50km: The Tribune India

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Satya Prakash

Tribune press service

New Delhi, December 11

The government of Punjab moved the Supreme Court against the Centre’s decision to extend the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in the state from 15 to 50 km along the Indo-Pakistan border, claiming that this went against federalism and would lead to chaos.

In its initial complaint filed under Article 131 of the Constitution, the Congressional government headed by Charanjit Singh Channi said: “… geographically, the state of Punjab is a small state, but has a very powerful history and, therefore his case and concerns are distinguishable and no reason can justify extending (BSF’s) jurisdiction to the 50 kilometer belt.

Noting that more than 80% of border areas and all major cities including all Punjab district headquarters would be covered by BSF jurisdiction, the Punjab government argued that the MHA decision “is likely to cause unrest among the population, including the peasantry who must cross the line of bribes to cultivate their lands along the border ”.

Claiming that this can lead to chaos and conflict in law enforcement crime trials, the government of Punjab has urged the Supreme Court to suspend the October 11, 2021 notification from the Interior Ministry (MHA) .

“The initial complaint filed by the government of Punjab was examined on Friday by a registrar’s court which asked the attorney general to respond to it and released the case for hearing after four weeks,” Punjab’s attorney general said DS Patwalia at The Tribune.

After the response was filed by the Center, the initial complaint filed under Article 131 of the Constitution would be placed before a Chamber for hearing.

While the MHA notification extended the jurisdiction of the BSF from 15 to 50 km in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam, it reduced it from 80 to 50 km in Gujarat. In Rajasthan, the limit remained unchanged at 50 km.

The government of Punjab called the MHA’s decision a “unilateral declaration” without consulting the state and without conducting a consultative process.

Claiming that Punjab’s concerns are “totally different and distinct” from the geography and concerns of other border states and Union territories, the government of Punjab has complained that the densely populated areas of the state have now been included in the jurisdiction of BSF.

“In the case of Gujarat, most of the area is in the Kutch and salt marshes, while the areas of the state of Rajasthan are desert lands, allowing only sparse vegetation to maintain a low population. in the area concerned to which the jurisdiction of BSF has been extended ”, he submitted.

“In the case of Punjab, the region is very fertile, densely populated and covers most of the physical areas that are part of the border districts of Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Fazilka, etc. », He affirmed.

He attacked the notification on the grounds that it “defeats the purpose of List II entries 1 and 2 of Annex 7 of the Constitution of India and infringes on the plenary authority of the complainant. to legislate on matters which relate to or are necessary for the maintenance of public order and internal peace ”.

In headings 1 and 2 of List II (List of States) of Annex 7 to the Constitution, “public order” and “police” are listed as subjects on which States are empowered to make laws and to exercise executive powers.

“To this extent, the Respondent (MHA) has deviated from the principle of federalism insofar as it does not have the power to legislate on the matters enumerated in List II of Annex 7 of the Indian Constitution.



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