Bihar Police Bill: Section 7 & 15 are highly objectionable; against Constitution, says Opposition

The bill proposes unbridled power to the state police and will turn Bihar into a police state, feel the opposition leaders

Bihar  Police Bill: Section 7 & 15 are highly objectionable; against Constitution, says Opposition

NH Political Bureau

The Bihar Special Armed Police Bill which seeks to convert Bihar Military Police (BMO) into a special armed force that can be deployed to secure industrial units on the lines of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), is undemocratic and against the Constitution, feel the opposition leaders.

Senior RJD leader and a friend of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Shivanand Tiwari said that Bihar Special Armed Police Bill which was passed despite protest by the Opposition is aimed at muzzling voices of protest against the Nitish government.

Though the JD(U) led government brought the new Bill in the name of removing the word “military” from the pre-existing act, two particular sections of the Bill - Section 7 and 15 are highly objectionable and are against the Constitution, said Tiwari.

Section 7 of the proposed law gives the power to arrest and search without warrant and magistrate permission and Section 15 gives immunity to the personnel of the Bihar Armed Police involved in serious cases except a few as it bars courts from taking cognizance of any complaint against the personnel.

“Even in the time of Karpuri Thakur the demand for the removal of the word “military” was raised…The protest is centered around Section 7 and 15 of the Bill which gives arbitrary power to the armed police,” he added.

“You cannot even register a complaint against the officer of the armed police…This is equal to robbing you of the right to protest, granted by the Constitution,” said Tiwari.

Echoing what Tiwari said, Madan Mohan Jha, president of the Bihar Congress said that the Police Bill will convert Bihar into a police state.

“And this is what CM Nitish Kumar wants. He wants to have unquestioned power. The Armed Police will be used to threaten and intimidate opposition leaders, social activists,” said Jha.

When asked what the Opposition is going to do next to counter the government’s move, Jha said a meeting will soon be called on to discuss the legal options.

Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh have on Thursday indicated that the Bill would be challenged in the SC.

While the Opposition has stepped up the attack on Nitish Kumar, Bihar’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chaitanya Kumar dismissed the Opposition’s concerns and said the Armed Police would be deployed at Gaya and Darbhanga airports.

In the preamble to the bill, the Nitish Kumar government has argued that the state security needs have changed due to its rapidly developing socio-economic character, thus the state requires an armed police force with multi-domain expertise.

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