NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said the power of Punjab Police has not been taken away by the central government with its decision to expand the jurisdiction of the Border Security Force to undertake search seizure, and arrest within a larger 50-km stretch from the international border as compared to previous 15-km limit.
A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra pointed out in fact concurrent powers were to be exercised by the BSF and the state police.
After perusing the notifications, the court noted that the power of investigation is not taken away from the Punjab Police.
The court asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, and advocate Shadan Farasat, representing the Punjab government, to sit together and jointly thrash out the issues to be decided by the bench.
The court said that the parties should exchange issues so that those can be settled before the next date of listing and the Advocate General of Punjab can also take part in this meeting.
During the hearing, Mehta said the BSF has jurisdiction in all border states and in Gujarat, the jurisdiction of BSF was up to 80-km. Mehta said that now the jurisdiction is uniform 50-km in all border states.
He said that the BSF has jurisdiction over some passport offences and the local police will also have power.
Arguing in the 2021 original suit, Farasat said Punjab is a smaller state and the Centre’s decision to expand the jurisdiction takes away the power of the police and other agencies in several cities.
Mehta, however, said the notification connected with the matter, does not include all the cognisable offences. He said the notification covered entire states of Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. "It is concurrent jurisdiction, local police is not deprived of its power," he maintained.