Ministry of Home Affairs
Ministry of Home Affairs

Govt keeps in abeyance special powers given to Assam Rifles

ANI | Updated: Feb 22, 2019 19:44 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 22 (ANI): The government has decided to keep a notification issued on February 19, giving special powers under CrPC to the Assam Rifles, in abeyance.
Sources in the Home Ministry said the government has decided to keep in abeyance the special powers given to the Assam Rifles personnel to arrest anyone and search any place without a warrant in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland and Mizoram.
According to sources, the entire matter will be revisited in consultation with the concerned state governments.
Powers under CrPC were available to Assam Rifles under the Assam Rifles Act, 1941.  However, after coming into operation of the new Assam Rifles Act 2006, the issue of re-conferring these powers has remained under consideration since then.
Recently, this issue has acquired urgency for effective enforcement of Free Movement Regime on the Indo-Myanmar border (on the 16 km belt on either side). 
The Free Movement Regime was streamlined after the bilateral agreement between India and Myanmar on Land Border Crossing was finalised in the year 2018. 
This will require giving suitable powers to Border Guarding Forces under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Passport Act, 1967 and Passport Entry into India Act, 1920.
Home Ministry sources said it has been decided that the enabling notifications issued on February 19, 2019, giving powers to Assam Rifles be kept in abeyance and the entire matter be revisited in consultation with the State governments concerned.
The notification said that an officer of the rank corresponding to that of the lowest rank of members of the Force is empowered under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974), to exercise the powers and discharge the duties under sub-section (1) of section 41, sections 47, 48, 49, 51, 53, 54, 149, 150, 151 and 152 of the said Code.
The government has been facing wide criticism over the notification. (ANI)