February 4, 2017 4:54:41 am
The HC Friday pulled up the state for providing police protection to some political leaders who have not paid their dues to the force. The court said the state should recover the dues from political parties in cases where party functionaries have not made the relevant payment.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Girish Kulkarni was hearing a PIL by Sunny Punamiya raising concern about outstanding dues from individuals provided police protection. He pointed out that most such persons were either builders or businessmen.
On recovering dues from poltical leaders, the court said, “Recover the dues from political parties, if the functionaries are not paying. We want to know why the dues are not recovered.”
The court said going by the records, payments had not been made for years but the state continued to provide the protection. “You are not running the police department only for the rich people. Don’t put the general public at risk. If necessary, you run a separate agency for providing protection to private individuals.” Public prosecutor Abhinandan Vagyani informed the bench that the protection had been provided despite non-payment of dues only in cases of political functionaries facing a threat to their lives. He also said they had reserved police personnel for providing security.
The bench clarified that it was not its view that police protection should not be provided to individuals, but its only concern was to see that it should not mean a loss to the public exchequer. “Threat perception is bound to be there for politicians but it does not mean they will not pay money,” said the court.
According to data submitted by the state, 1,034 individuals, including 242 from Mumbai, have been provided police protection. On an average, four policemen are deployed per person. The same chart says that 482 persons are ‘other than’ constitutional functionaries.
The court sought to know who these 482 persons were. The matter has been adjourned for two weeks.
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