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Border Security Force (BSF)

Why is it in the news?

  • The Supreme Court will adjudicate on the dispute regarding the expansion of Border Security Force (BSF) jurisdiction in Punjab.


  • In October 2021, the Ministry of Home Affairs expanded the Border Security Force’s (BSF) jurisdiction in Punjab, West Bengal, and Assam from 15 km to 50 km.
  • This extension was accompanied by a reduction in jurisdiction in Gujarat from 80 km to 50 km, while the 50 km limit was already in place in Rajasthan.

Reasons for Expanding BSF’s Jurisdiction:

  • Addressing cross-border infiltration, particularly concerning drones with long-range capabilities.
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of combating trans-border crimes such as arms smuggling, counterfeit currency, and cattle smuggling.
  • Ensuring uniformity in BSF operations across states.

Reasons for Judicial Challenge by Punjab:

  • According to Punjab government, legislative powers regarding public order and police are in the State List of the 7th Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Punjab government alleges lack of consultation before issuing the notification, asserting it contradicts the federal spirit.
  • Unlike sparsely populated areas in Gujarat and Rajasthan, many cities and towns in Punjab fall within the 50-kilometer jurisdiction.
  • Punjab Government has challenged the notification under Article 131 (original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court) of the Constitution. However, the Supreme Court will decide whether such notifications can be challenged under Article 131, along with other related issues.
About BSF

·       The Border Security Force (BSF) is one of the seven Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and is known as the 1st line of defence.

·       Mandated to guard the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Bangladesh borders, BSF has distinct roles during war-time and peace-time.

·       Under Section 139 (1) of the BSF Act 1968, the Centre has the authority to publish orders regarding BSF’s jurisdiction in areas adjacent to India’s borders.

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