Gujarat CM to PM
PROPOSED RPF ACT AMENDMENT BILL “UNWARRANTED”
: Narendra Modi :
…To Counter Powers of State Police Officers to RPF is Violation of Constitutional Provisions…
It Usurps Power of State Legislature and Serious blow to federal structure of India…
Another Strong Objection by Gujarat CM against UPA move to infringe states PowerGujarat Chief Minister ShrI Narendra Modi, in a strong worded Letter to the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, had opposed the proposal moved by Ministry of Railways to amend the Railways Protection Force Act. “The proposed amendment Bill which is intended to confer the powers of State Police Officers to RPF is unwarranted, severe violation of the constitutional spirit and blow to federal structure of India. It also usurps power of the state legislature,” he added.
The provisions being inserted by the proposed amendment of the Railway Protection Force Act, 1957 is not in consonance with the schemes provided under article 246 of the Constitution of India. “Public order” and “police” are state subjects and proposing an amendment on these subjects under entry 22, 30 and 93 of Union List with entry 2 of the concurrent list in schedule VII of the Constitution of India is, not only a step to infringe upon powers of the state but also a serious blow to the federal structure of the Country, ShrI Narendra Modi said.
Gujarat CM said that the proposed amendment is intended to confer “powers of the police officers”, which is otherwise provided under Indian Police Act 1861 only. Therefore, the proposed amendment to provide powers of the police officer by amending the provisions of RPF Act, 1957 is violative of provisions of exiting Indian Police Act and provisions of State Police Act like the Bombay Police Act, 1956 prevailing in the state.
Gujarat CM also said that the Ministry of Railways is attempting to advocate a theory that railway property in the country is an independent entity and gives an impression that it is a state within a state, thus justifying conferring of police powers of investigation and arrest to the RPF. A parallel has been drawn from the provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act under which CBI draws jurisdiction in support of such move which is unfortunate and shocking.
“The argument put forward to confer power of a police officer to RPF personnel is ridiculous which says that the trains run through several states and passengers find it difficult to lodge their complaint with GRP, as several jurisdictions are often involved as if the RPF will not face similar situation. It is well known that even the state police face similar dilemma and often carry out investigation in many offences cutting across state jurisdiction. Therefore, such lame justification to take away the powers of the GRP and interfere with the powers of the state government is grave and uncalled for” he said to PM and added that this this decision is likely to open up a Pandora’s Box, since CISF safeguarding airports and other public sector undertakings may seek similar powers. This will lead to a situation where a host of para-military forces operating in this country, will ask for “police powers” in their respective operational areas”
“Recently National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) is notified unilaterally in violation of the Constitutional provisions and many states have taken strong objections to it. In continuation of this, a Bill to give police powers to RPF is being mooted, which again is another attempt to curtail state’s powers. Therefore such unwarranted Bills are not to be pushed through by the Government of India, Gujarat CM Said.