Pointing to seriousness of the issue of Mumbai airport security, the Bombay High Court Thursday directed the Union of India, the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) and other agencies to inform it about the steps taken to regulate entry in and around the airport, besides providing details of contract labour employed at the airport. A bench of Justice R M Savant and Justice Sadhana Jadhav was hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Yeshwant Shenoy raising concerns regarding security arrangements at the Mumbai airport.
Shenoy’s petition alleges that in 2016, two passes had been issued to one person working on contract at the airport. The court has directed agencies like the MIAL, AAI, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Central Industrial Security Force, Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to file their replies in this matter within four weeks. “At your cargo complex, you can’t have all permanent employees. There are also those who have been hired on contract,” the High Court pointed out.
“Agencies like MIAL and AAI are directed to file an affidavit to explain how entry into the airport and its surrounding areas is being regulated. The other agencies shall inform us how many labourers are hired on contract and in which departments,” said Justice Savant. He further directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to submit its enquiry report relating to investigation conducted against various government officials for flouting height restrictions around the airport.
“A proper drill is carried out during VIP movement but the common man also needs to feel secure. Employees of airlines gain entry by showing their ID card, this can be misused and anyone can show the same to CISF who may not be able to detect it as they are so hard-pressed. They won’t be able to detect threat perception. A proper framework should be worked out for this,” said the bench.