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Current Affairs

BSF powers and jurisdiction

Date: 16 October 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous


 The jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) has been increased by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).



The new rule increases jurisdiction to 50 km inside the international borders in the states of Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.



  • The current powers of the BSF include arrests, seizures and search up to a distance of 15 km from border in the above mentioned states.

  • At the same time, the jurisdiction of BSF has been reduced to 50 km from existing 80 km in the state of Gujarat.

  • The states of West Bengal and Punjab have termed this move as an attack on the federal structure of the country.


The extension

  • The Home Ministry has given the order by exercising its powers under the Border Security Force Act of 1968.

  • Other than the above states, the jurisdiction of BSF extends to complete Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya.



  • The powers under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Passport Act, 1967 have been increased under the new enhanced jurisdiction. BSF can arrest and search under these laws.

  • The powers of BSF to arrest, search and seize under the NDPS Act, Arms Act, Customs Act and certain other laws have not been increased.


Need for new changes

  • The jurisdiction was increased to bring in uniformity and also to increase operational efficiency. It was also done to prevent trans-border crimes.

  • The changes were also needed due to instances of drones dropping weapons and drugs in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. 



  • The move of increasing BSF’s jurisdiction can infringe upon powers of the state government. It is however said to complement the efforts of the local police. 

  • There are issues of jurisdictions based on land distance, as the BSF does not mark its territory on maps and this could create conflict with local police.