Border Security Force Jurisdiction: Opposition calls it ‘Attack on Federalism’


July 06, 2021, The Liberacy:- Border Security Force (BSF), also known as the first line of Defence, has recently been making a lot of news. This came after a recent order by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India to extend the jurisdiction of BSF from 15 km to 50 km inside the International border along with Punjab, Bengal, and Assam.

The aim behind this move is to improve “Operational efficiency” and crack down on “Smuggling rackets” as learned by The Liberacy from official sources of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The move enables the BSF with their Detection, Investigation, and Arrest powers, when needed, to extend beyond the erstwhile limit of 15 km now extended to 50 km.

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Border Security Force
Border Security Force

But the move with this order has triggered the opposition in the three said States and faced serious resistance from the Chief Ministers of Bengal and Punjab, describing the Union Government order as “Irrational Decision” and raised questions on the structure of federalism, and Central Government’s intervention in state list as empowered by the Constitution of India with schedule 7, under State List, Entry 1 and Entry 2.

The Chief Minister of Bengal and Punjab argued that the Central Government is interfering in the matters of public affairs and police which is in violation of Entry 1 and Entry 2, respectively.


The related gazette notification was published, which amended the previous notification of July 3, 2014, which marks the jurisdiction of BSF as a whole in the states of Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, and Meghalaya, and 80 km inside the International border along with Gujarat, and 50 km along with Rajasthan the erstwhile arrangement had the BSF jurisdiction in the states of Bengal Punjab and Assam up to 15 km.


The latest notification has reduced the BSF jurisdiction in Gujarat from 80 km to 50 km, Rajasthan remains the same with 50 km, and the controversial Bengal Punjab and Assam from 15 km to 50 km.
The status of Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Meghalaya remains the same as it lies completely under the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force.

Punjab new chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi tweeted, condemning the Government of India’s move and reiterating the attack on federalism by BJP led Central Government.
Former CM of Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh, the predecessor of the current Chief Minister of Punjab from the same Indian National Congress, has welcomed the move by the Home Ministry of Government of India.


Indian National Congress MP Manish Tiwari tweeted, “Transgress as upon constitutional public order and police remit of states and half of Punjab will now fall under Border Security Force jurisdiction.

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