SC slams Centre over govt security for ‘VVIPs’

‘Security personnel are not meant for opening gates’

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: September 4, 2013 3:53:23 am

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it could not permit state security to the “so-called VVIPs for opening the gates of their bungalows” and the government will have to come up with a mechanism for a need-based assessment of security.

“It is a very valid point. Security personnel are not meant for opening the gates. There will be at least five such persons posted. It is just useless,” said a Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda.

Pointing to the lack of security for ensuring safety of the common man,the Bench said private persons should not be given state security,by way of deploying local police or para-military personnel,even if they agree to bear such expenditure.

“It is not permissible even if they pay a cost. How can you (government) do it when you admit your security agencies are short-staffed and you don’t have enough men? If they want it,let them pay private security agencies and have the security of their desire,” said the court.

Finding favour with senior advocate Harish Salve’s arguments,the Bench said the security had to be need-based and not just status-based. “It is a very valid suggestion that review of security should be done by an independent agency and not by the state police,” remarked the court,seeking Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran’s views on the aspect by September 26.

It asked Parasaran and Salve,who appears as amicus curiae in the matter on judicial scrutiny of use of beacons and deployment of VIP security for high dignitaries,to come up with their suggestions so that the Bench could pass directives for the entire nation.

The court also made a reference to media reports on an accused surrounded by hordes of security personnel and said there was no need for such a paraphernalia. It however did not mention the name of the person nor referred to the case.

During the hearing,the Bench referred to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court a request made by a special judge of Delhi trial court for security cover,along with a pilot car,during his visit to Punjab. The court said the High Court should be made aware of the “misuse of position” by a judge of higher judiciary.

Meanwhile,SG in his note to the court on use of red beacons and hooters,maintained that the facility was not status-linked but was given only to aid and assist in functional requirements. He said the state governments might have unreasonably used the relaxation provisions to provide beacons to too many people but the Centre was now trying to have a consensus over the subject.

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