New Delhi: The proposed amendments in the
Railway Property (unlawful possession) Amendment Bill 2008
aiming to provide sufficient powers to the Railway Protection
Force were found to be insufficient by a Parliamentary panel.
According to the Standing Committee on Railways, which
tabled its report in Parliament today, unless more powers are
given to the RPF and some statutory mechanism is devised to
have a better coordination among the state police, Government
Railway Police (GRP) and RPF, the proposed amendments may not
be able to fulfil the requirements of the RPF.
The committee under chairmanship of former Union
Minister T R Baalu has recommended the government to bring a
comprehensive Bill before Parliament, widening the definition
of `property` of passengers as well and devising a better
coordination mechanism among the state police, the GRP and the
The Railway Property (unlawful possession) Bill 2008
was introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 18 and referred to
the Standing Committee on Railways for examination.
The Bill is also intended to equip the RPF with
requisite powers for investigation and prosecution of offences
related to Railway Property.
Since the enactment of the Railway Property (unlawful
possession) Act 1966, the RPF has safeguarded the railway
property against unlawful possession, theft and has gained
adequate expertise in handling such matters.
The report says, it has been realised that the ambit of
Sections 3 and 4 of the Act needs to be enlarged so as to
cover all facts of crime related to the theft of railway
There is also a need to amend the Section 8 of the Act
so that an inquiry officer can proceed to inquire into thefts
of railway property on receipt of information about the
commission of an offence punishable under the Act, it adds.
The committee, in its report, also found ambiguity in
the definition of Railway Property in the Act.
The Bill seeks to amend Sec 3, Sec 4 and Sec 8 of the
Railway Property (unlawful possession) Act, 1966 so as to
bring within its ambit the Unlawful possession of goods
entrusted to the Railways and to make the punishment for such
offences more deterrent.