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" State Not Consulted": Punjab Govt Moves Supreme Court Challenging Centre's Notification Increasing BSF Jurisdiction

Srishti Ojha
11 Dec 2021 4:48 PM GMT
 State Not Consulted: Punjab Govt Moves Supreme Court Challenging Centres Notification Increasing BSF Jurisdiction
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The State of Punjab has moved against the Supreme Court of India challenging Centre's 11th October notification increasing the limits of the area of jurisdiction to be exercised by the Border Security Force from 15 to 50 kms.An original suit has been filed by the State of Punjab challenging the notification dated 11.10.2021 issued by Union of India, through Ministry of Home...

The State of Punjab has moved against the Supreme Court of India challenging Centre's 11th October notification increasing the limits of the area of jurisdiction to be exercised by the Border Security Force from 15 to 50 kms.

An original suit has been filed by the State of Punjab challenging the notification dated 11.10.2021 issued by Union of India, through Ministry of Home Affairs under sub-section (1) of Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968.

Supreme Court on Friday issued a summon for disposal of suit to Union of India, asking them to enter appearance in the Registry of the Court within twenty eight days. The Centre has been summoned to appear before the Court by an Advocate­ on ­Record of the Court to answer the State 's claim on the day the case is set down for hearing

The State of Punjab has argued that the notification encroaches upon the State subject and also amounts to excessive delegation of power by the Central Government.

The State has argued that the impugned notification dated 11.10.2021 is ultra-vires the Constitution of India as it defeats the purpose of Entry 1 and 2 of List-Il of Schedule-7 of the Constitution of India and encroaches upon the State's plenary. To this extent, the Centre has departed from the principle of Federalism inasmuch as it has no power to make any laws in respect of the matters enumerated in List-Il of Schedule 7 of the Constitution of India.

The suit filed through Advocate Ashok K Mahajan has further argued that the unilateral declaration under notification dated 11.10.2021 without consulting the State of Punjab or without conducting any consultative process is violative of the provisions of the Constitution of India.

The State has submitted that that in all the notifications issued by the defendant in 1969, 1974, 2012 and 2014, the limit of 15 kilometres from Indo-Pak International Border was provided for the exercise of the jurisdiction by the Border Security Force in the State of Punjab. However, all of a sudden, on 11th October 2021 without consulting the State of Punjab or conducting any consultative process issued the notification increasing the limit from 15 kilometres to 50 kilometres.

The plaintiff has further submitted that power under Section 139 of the Border Security Force Act, 1968 cannot be read in isolation to give unilateral power tothe Central Government to create extra jurisdiction of 50 kilometres specially when the said areas do not touch the area at all & thus would not fall in the ambit of local limits

The State of Punjab has argued that the notification amounts to encroachment upon the powers and roll of the State of Punjab by the Centre inasmuch as more than 80% area of the Border districts, all the major towns and cities including all the district headquarters of these border districts of Punjab fall within 50 kilometres area from the Indo-Pakistan International Border.

Case Title: State of Punjab vs Union of India (O.S. 6/2021) 

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