New Delhi: A legislation to make Railway Protection Force (RPF) the sole body responsible for passenger security is likely to be introduced in the Budget session of Parliament.

The Railway Protection Force (Amendment) Bill, 2011 also seeks withdrawal of Government Railway Police from railway premises and empowering the RPF with policing power to deal with crime cases, including drugging and robberies in trains and stations.

"The bill is ready and has been sent to the Cabinet for its approval for introducing the same in the Budget session," said a senior Railway Ministry official.

If the legislation is passed in Parliament, it will be for the first time that a paramilitary force will be given policing powers in the country.

The bill also aims at eliminating multiplicity of authorities as the RPF will be solely responsible for tackling crime in railway premises.

The draft of the bill is being finalised in consultation with various ministries including Law, Finance and Home.

Currently, the GRP under the state government is responsible for dealing with crime at rail stations and trains while the RPF's role is restricted to protecting railway properties.

Since the GRP is controlled by the state government, there are boundary issues. "If a theft takes 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."

Once the law is enacted, the GRP will be withdrawn from Railway premises across the country. RPF will be responsible for registering FIRs and there will be no boundary issue involved.

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

(Agencies)