Assam Rifles Act,1941

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Act No : 5


5 of 1941
17th Much,1941

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS Act 34 of 1951.- In pre-war days, there were two classes of followers in the Assam Rifles, public and private. Public followers comprised menial establishments; and private followers included barbers, washermen, cooks, water-carriers, etc. The former were paid by Government and the latter by subscription from the members of the Assam Rifles. During the period of the war, followers of both classes were enrolled as non-combatants and paid by Government. When the Indian Army Act ceased to be applicable to the Assam Rifles at the end of the war, the terms of enrolment were no longer available for private followers, there being no provision for their enrolment as non-combatants in the Assam Rifles Act, 1941 (5 of 1941). The local authorities feel that it will become extremely difficult to secure the services of private followers for the Assam Rifles in the absence of enrolment facilities. In order to remove this difficulty it has been decided that all followers, private as well as public, should be enrolled in the Assam Rifles as u) done in the Indian Army. In order to give effect to this decision it is proposed to amend the Assam Rifles Act, 1941, as proposed in the Bill. - See Gaz. of India, 7-11-1950, Pt. II-S. 2, Ext., p. 3 (No. 1). Act
48 of 1958.- While clause (a) of sub-section (1) of section 8of the Assam Rifles Act, 1941 (5 of 1941), confer* on a District Magistrate and a Commandant of the Assam Rifles powers to award imprisonment extending to twenty-eight days in respect of petty, offences against discipline, it confers on an Assistant Commandant in similar cases powers of punishment extending to seven days. The relative status of the authorities no doubt varies, but the differentiation was made more on the basis of the conditions previously obtaining in the administration of the North-Eastern Frontier Agency when a major portion of the area was not administered and the Assam Rifles out-posts were rarely situated beyond fifty miles from the plains and were easily accessible. The necessity for conferring equal powers OB an Assistant Commandant was, therefore, not felt at that time. The position has now undergone a radical change and the outposts and wing headquarters of the Assam Rifles have now moved into the interior. For some of the outposts, the normal line of communications is by air lift. Since the punishing power of an Assistant Commandant is limited, a breach of discipline in remote outposts is dealt with at present either by the award of a light punishment within the powers of Assistant Commandant or by subjecting the offender to a long march to the headquarters for trial by a Commandant. In the former case, a disproportionately light punishment is apt to create a sense of laxity in the ranks of riflemen and in the latter case, the effect of the punishment is lost due to delayed award of sentence. Moreover, in certain cases where witnesses have to be examined, they often refuse to go too far from their homes. In the circumstances, it is necessary that Assistant Commandants should also have the same powers as Commandants.

The Bill gives effect to this object. - See Gaz. of India, 19-11-1958, Pt. II-S.

2. Ext., p. 1118 (No. 46). Act 30 ofl962.- The Assam Rifles Act, 1941, extends to the whole of Assam and is applicable to members of the Assam Rifles wherever they may be. Since the Assam Rifles are required to serve in areas outside the State of Assam, the restricted application of the Act to that State raises legal difficulties as regards exercise of powers under the Act by magistrates .and other authorities outside the State. To remove these difficulties it is proposed to extend the Act to the whole of India. Under section 10of the Act, only the Commandants and Assistant Commandants are entitled to all the privileges which a police officer has under sections 42and43 of the Police Act, 1861,section 125 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872and any other enactment for the time being in force. It is considered necessary to confer such privileges on the riflemen also. It is also considered that the Commandants, Assistant Commandants and riflemen should have the sane protection for acts done by them in the discharge of police duties as has been conferred on the members of the Central Reserve Police Force. The riflemen are posted for duty in the N.E.F.A., Nagaland and other border areas where there are no regular police forces. During the discharge of their duties, it is necessary for them to make searches, arrests, etc. To enable them to make searches, arrests, etc., it is proposed to confer on them the powers of a police officer. To facilitate the inquiry and trial of offences committed by riflemen, it is also proposed to confer magisterial powers on the Commandant and Assistant Commandants. The Bill seeks to achieve the above objects. - Sec Gaz. of India, 22-6-1962, Pt. II, S. 2, Ext" p. 505 (No. 22).

An Act to provide for the regulation of and the maintenance of discipline in the Assam Rifles. WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the regulation of and the maintenance of discipline in the Assam Rifles; It is hereby enacted as follows:-


- (1) This Act may be called the Assam Rifles Act, 1941:

(2) It extends to1[the whole of India] and applies to all members of the Assam Rifles wherever they may be serving.


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