Central Executive Committee, On the Abolition of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission and on the Regulations for Conducting Searches, Seizures and Arrests. February 6, 1922
Original Source: Sobranie uzakonenii i rasporiazhenii raboche-krestian’skogo pravitel’stva, 1922, No. 16.
In accordance with the resolution of the Ninth All-Russian Congress of Soviets on the reorganization of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, Speculation, and Official Offences, and on the local organs is of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission, the VTsIK decrees:
1. That the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission and its local organs shall be abolished.
2. That the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs shall, together with the other tasks indicated in paragraph I of the acts concerning the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, execute throughout the entire territory of the RSFSR the following tasks:
(a) Suppression of open counter-revolutionary outbreaks, including banditry;
(b) Taking measures to prevent and combat espionage;
(c) Guarding rail and water transport;
(d) Political policing of the borders of the RSFSR;
(e) Combating contraband and crossing of the borders of the republic without proper permission;
(f) Executing special orders of the Presidium of the VTsIK or of the Sovnarkom for protecting the revolutionary order.
3. For the fulfillment of these tasks there is to be formed in connection with the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs a State Political Administration (CPU), under the personal chairmanship of the People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs or of his deputy, who is to be appointed by the Sovnarkom, and in the local places there are to be political sections; in the autonomous republics and regions the political sections are to be connected with the central executive committee and in the provinces with the executive committees thereof.
4. The political sections connected with the central executive committees of the autonomous republics and regions remain directly subordinate to the central GPU attached to the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, on the same principles as the other unified people’s commissariats and administrations of the autonomous republics and regions.
5. The political sections of the provincial executive committees shall act in accordance with a special act referring thereto, approved by the Presidium of the VTsIK.
Note: Special sections and transport sections forming part of the GPU and the political sections conduct the struggle against crimes in the army and on the railroads according to special regulations concerning them, approved by the Presidium of the VTsIK.
6. At the direct disposal of the GPU there are special army detachments, the size of which shall be determined by the decisions of the Council of Labor and Defense, under the orders of a special staff of the troops of the GPU of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, this staff being part of the GPU.
7. Owing to the necessity of adopting measures for stopping the activities of those who take part in counter-revolutionary attempts, in banditism, espionage, thefts on the railroads and waterways, contraband, and crossing the frontiers without permission, the GPU, the political sections, as well as their representatives in the districts, have the right to undertake searches, seizures and arrests as follows:
(a) In the case of persons caught in the act of committing a crime, the arrests, searches, or seizures by agents of the GPU or of the political sections may be effected without a special decision of the GPU, or of the political sections, or a special order containing the approval of the chairman of the GPU, within 48 hours from the time such procedure was resorted to; in all the other cases the arrest, as well as the searches and seizures, are admissible only upon special decision of the OGPU or the political sections, over the signature of their representatives, according to special orders which are issued in the manner stipulated by the instructions elaborated by the GPU, and confirmed by the People’s Commissariat for Justice.
(b) Not later than two weeks after the arrest the indictment shall be submitted to the prisoner.
(c) Not later than two months after the day of the arrest the GPU must either free the arrested person or ask the Presidium of the VTsIK for permission to continue the detention of the arrested person, provided this is warranted by special circumstances, for a period determined by the presidium of the VTsIK, or it shall refer the matter to the courts.
8. All general criminal cases concerning speculation, offences committed in connection with official duties, and other offences which, before the publication of this decree, were in the hands of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission and its organs, shall be transmitted within two weeks to the respective revolutionary tribunals or people’s courts, and in the future all cases concerning crimes directed against the soviet structure or representing violations of the laws of the RSFSR shall be exclusively judged by the courts, either by the revolutionary tribunals or by the people’s courts, according to the case.
9. The People’s Commissariat for Justice shall supervise the execution of articles 7 and 8.
10. The acts concerning the powers of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs shall be complemented in accordance with this decree.
Signed: President of the VTsIK: M. Kalinin. Secretary of the VTsIK: A. Enukidze.
Source: Walter Russell Batsell, Soviet Rule in Russia (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1929), pp. 606-609.