The Sashatra Seema Bal Act, 2007

The Sashatra Seema Bal Act, 2007 (Act no. 53 of 2007) has received the assent of Hon’ble President of India on 20th December, 2007 and the same was enacted with the basic object to provide for constitution and regulation of an armed force of the Union to ensure security of Borders of India. Section 3 is important as it is connected with the applicability of the provisions of the Act upon the persons mentioned therein. The Officers and subordinate officers and under-officers and also other persons enrolled under this Act.

The Act under its second Chapter deals with constitution of the Force and other relevant aspects thereof. Section 4 is dealing with such constitution, where it is given that a Union Armed Force to be constituted for ensuring security of the Boarder of India and performing other duties which the Central Government entrusts upon it. Such armed force is named under this provision as ‘Sashastra Semaa Bal’. Section 5 deals with vesting of general superintendence, direction, etc. in the Central Government, whereas, the command and supervision of the Force to be vested in Officer appointed by the Central Government namely, Director-General of the Force. Provisions are also made for enrolment of persons in the force. And every such person so enrolled under this Act should be liable to serve either inside or outside India. And provisions regarding resignation, term, termination of service, etc. are provided under the subsequent provisions of this Act.

Chapter III of the Act makes penal provisions. The Section 16 whereof specifies that whoever commits any of the mentioned offence under the provision should be liable to conviction by Force and his punishment can be extended to Death or otherwise less punishment. Several offences have been provided under this provision, including shamefully abandoning or delivering any post, place, etc. committed to one’s charge; intentionally using any means for compelling any person being subject to Act to abstain from acting against the enemy or to discourage such person from acting against the enemy, etc. further section 17 specifies certain other offences under the Act, where persons liable are to be punished with imprisonment up to 14 years or less. And Section 18 also specifies other offences for which the punishment is even lesser than above. Along with these provisions certain other provision in this Chapter and abatement and attempts thereof are also given in respect offences under this Act. Similarly, the provisions enlisting number of punishment are provided under next Chapter of the Act.

The Chapter V of the Act deals with deductions from the pay and allowances. There are number of matter provide as to deductions, under section 61 of the Act. Further, section 62 of the Act deals with the provision as to certain deduction, when any person subjected under this Act is in custody or under suspension form duty under the charge of offence. Similarly, other provisions are also provided under this chapter regarding deductions.

The Chapter, VI of the Act specifies provisions regarding arrest and proceedings before Trial, where section 69 of the Act deals with the provisions regarding force custody of the offender under this Act. The Commanding officer is provided with responsibility that the person charged with an offence should not be detained in the custody for more than 48 hours and such other responsibilities as given under this provision. In case of any person subjected to this Act, who is remained in custody for exceeding period more than 8 days without his trial, then a report is to be made as to why such delay occurred, by the Commanding Officer in prescribed manner. Even, in case where any such offender under the provisions of this Act is within the jurisdiction of any Magistrate or Police officer, then such authorities should apprehend him and deliver to the Force custody, on the application made by Commanding Officer or authorized officer, as per section 72. Similarly, when any deserter who deserts the Commanding Officer of his concerned unit, then the Civil authorities to apprehend and deliver such deserter to the Force Custody on the information by Commanding Officer.

Further, the Chapter VII contains provision dealing with Force courts, including General, Petty and Summary Force Courts. Section 83 specifies conditions when such, Force Court to be dissolved. It is given that after the commencement of the Trial, if the number of officers reduced below the minimum number specified, then such Force Court should be dissolved. Other more conditions are also specified thereunder. Further, sections 84 to 86 deals with powers of these Courts. Similarly, chapter VIII and IX of the Act deals with procedure which each of these Courts to follow in trial before them.  These chapters make detailed provisions as to proceedings before such Courts, its confirmation and revision thereof. Moreover, Chapter X deals with sentences execution including death by hang till death or by shot to death and imprisonment, recovery of penalty and also deals with provisions as to pardons and remission, etc. The last chapter is dealing with miscellaneous provisions. These provisions include power of the Central Government to provide power or duties to the members of the Force, by its order. Similarly, the rule making power is also provided with the Central Government under these provisions. Such rules required to be made inconsistent with the purpose of this Act and also on various given matters.

 by Faim Khalilkhan Pathan.