August 26, 2020 11:30:28 pm
OVER A petition filed by former Punjab MLA Bir Devinder Singh, seeking to quash a June 23 order passed by the state government to withdraw his personal security cover, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the petitioner the services of two security personnel till the next hearing.
Through his counsel, advocate Rajvinder Singh Bains, Patiala resident Bir Devinder has contended that despite having been provided more than adequate security since 2018, his security cover by the State of Punjab has been withdrawn unilaterally on state expenses as per order an dated June 23 and as of now, he has no security personnel with him.
He further submitted that he has been directed to seek security cover on payment basis, even though his security file reveals continuous threat to his life because of his political activities and that he had in the past been subjected to criminal attack in which even the life of security personnel had been lost.
Even on a previous occasion, the state government had withdrawn Bir Devinder’s security, which was restored on HC’s orders on a writ petition in 2010. Security was granted to him because of extreme threat perception. His counsel has argued that the security cover been withdrawn due to “public statements made by Bir Devinder as part of his public duty, which has annoyed the chief minister and therefore the additional chief secretary and DGP have acted in concert to withdraw security cover to the petitioner leading to threat to his life and of his family”, argued Singh’s counsel.
It was pleaded before the bench that ex-MLAs as on date have been provided a minimum of two security personnel, which he would also be entitled to as well apart from other security personnel.
The bench of Justice Jaishree Thakur issued notice to the Punjab government for reply, to be heard on September 2.
“In the meantime, limited to the next date of hearing, the petitioner would be entitled to two PSOs, given the fact that ex-MLAs have been allowed the same,” ruled the HC in the order.
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