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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

SC tears into VIP security

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 17, 2013
First Published: 23:55 IST(17/1/2013) | Last Updated: 23:57 IST(17/1/2013)

Under fire for the recent gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus, the Delhi Police on Thursday further drew flak from the Supreme Court for saying security was provided to VVIPs not on account of specific threats but to facilitate bold and impartial decision-making.

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A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi pulled up the Deputy Commissioner of Police (headquarters) who filed the affidavit justifying the security cover.

"Is this the level of understanding of an officer? Does he mean that sentries outside make us bold to decide. How can our judgement become bold due to security" it asked.

Taking strong exception to the affidavit, the bench said it has to be "contemptuously ignored".

"He must be an IPS officer and must have read IPC and CrPC. We don't expect this sort of response. The DCP has to be on the streets," the court added and directed the Union home secretary to file a detailed affidavit on details of security given to political leaders and the expenditure involved.

 For the other states, the respective home secretaries have to file an affidavit, detailing how many politicians are given security, their names along with the cost and the total number of policemen deployed in providing the security. The states have three weeks to file it.

Strongly disapproving of providing heavy security deployment to "all and sundry" the bench said: "Security can be given to the PM, president, vice president, speaker, chief justice of India and similar counterparts in the states. But what is seen is the red beacon is provided to all and sundry. In a recent incident, we heard five people died in Hyderabad because traffic was stopped for 45 minutes for someone."

"Why should the government not take a decision to scrap and make it specific that can use red lights? We find persons sitting in 2,000 kms away but in their villages two dozen security people are there," it said while hearing a petition filed by a leader from Uttar Pradesh challenging security cover to his opponent in the state.

The petitioner's counsel, senior advocate Harish Salve, contended that the gang rape could have been averted if police were deployed on the streets.

The Centre submitted that security should not be confined only to a few dignitaries and protection should be given on the basis of threat perception to individuals.


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