The Bombay High Court on Friday slammed the Joint Secretary of the Maharashtra Home Department for writing a letter to the DGP of the State to examine the security provided to people holding constitutional posts.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and G S Kulkarni expressed its displeasure and shock over the letter and questioned the intention behind the letter when the PIL did not have any reference to constitutional posts. The bench was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Sunny Punamiya, seeking directions to the state to recover huge outstanding dues from VIPs who have been provided security cover and are yet to pay for it. In the last hearing, the state was told to file a report about steps that it has launched to recover the dues.
After the government pleader submitted the report with the letter, the court asked the joint secretary to go through the previous orders and stated that constitutional posts were never in question in the PIL. The court said, “We have never stated that people in the constitutional bench should not be provided security. How can you withdraw security of CM, governor or the judges? We are very disturbed with this approach of the state.”
The bench also said that the PIL is restricted to recovery of pending dues from celebrities, builders, ex MLAs and ex MPs and not those holding constitutional posts. “We will initiate contempt proceedings against the joint secretary. He does not understand court order and proceedings,” said Chellur.
The court then told the Maharashtra Home Secretary to be present in the Chamber in the afternoon. “We want the Home Secretary to know what is going on in the department and the reason behind the letter,” the bench said.