New Delhi: With the aim to effectively prevent criminal incidents in trains, Railways has proposed a legislation to provide policing power to Railway Protection Force (RPF).

Titled 'Passengers Security Bill, 2011', it seeks withdrawal of Government Railway Police (GRP) from Railway premises and empowering the RPF to deal with crime cases including drugging and robberies in trains and stations.

"The bill is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament as the draft of the proposed legislation is being finalized in consultation with various Ministries including Law Ministry, Finance Ministry and Home Ministry," a senior Railway Ministry official said.

After the finalization of the draft, it would be kept    before the Cabinet for its approval. Besides empowering the RPF, the bill also aims to eliminate multiplicity of authorities on Railway premises.

Currently, the Government Railway Police (GRP) under the state government is responsible for dealing with crime at stations and trains while the RPF's role is restricted to protect railway properties only.

Since the GRP is controlled by the state government, there are boundary issues. If a theft has taken place in a Delhi-bound train in Bihar, then FIR will not be registered in Delhi, the official said.

"It will be registered where the crime has taken place. It not only creates inconvenience to passengers but also affects the investigation process," he said. Once the law is enacted giving the RPF policing power, then GRP will be withdrawn from Railway premises across the country.

However, according to the provisions of the Passengers Security Bill 2011, RPF will not be responsible for law and order problems and its policing powers will be restricted within railway premises.

The official said the proposed bill has received in-principle clearance from the Home Ministry and Law Ministry.

"But there are certain modalities yet to be worked out as the bill aims to equip a paramilitary force with policing powers, a first in the country," he said.

(Agencies)