Supreme Court to decide if Centre encroached on Punjab’s domain.

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: Indian Polity and Constitution

Topic: Federalism-issues

Issue: BSF jurisdiction

Context: Punjab has challenged the centre’s decision of extending BSF’s jurisdiction from 15 km to 50 km from the Indo-Pakistan border.

Border Security Force (BSF):

  • BSF is one of the five Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) of India, was raised in 1965 for ensuring the security of the borders of India and for related matters.
  • Currently BSF guards India’s border with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • The Border Security Force Act 1968 was enacted to regulate BSF.

Section 139 of the BSF Act, 1968 – authorises the Centre to confer powers and duties on members of the BSF force in respect of any Central Acts.

Purpose: To gain a more effective control on trans-border crimes in cooperation with the State Police.

Centre’s arguments for extension Punjab’s arguments against extension
Improve its operational effectiveness in curbing trans-border crimes. Attack on Federalism as Police and Public order are subjects in the state list.
Establishes uniformity (50km) in defining the area within which the BSF can operate. Usurpation of state powers by centre.


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