The Delhi high court on Wednesday refused to interfere with the provision of security for chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, after the central government informed it that he has already been provided with security cover.
Delhi Police also informed the court that they provided security to the chief minister, but he refused to accept it. The police said they were taking appropriate measures in the matter, and that police personnel in plain clothes were deployed.
A division bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw disposed of the plea after taking note of the submissions of Delhi Police and the Union government.
"A statement was made by Delhi Police that Kejriwal is already under security. ASG (assistant solicitor general) produced the file on consideration of security of chief minister. We feel no further order is required," the court said, disposing of the plea.
The court order came on a public interest litigation filed by a lawyer urging the court to direct Kejriwal to take police security for himself and his ministers. The chief minister and the ministers cannot be permitted to expose themselves to danger because of political or ideological reasons.
During the hearing, the bench said: "He is the chief minister, he knows the consequences. He knows the security threat. He is the man to protect all of us".
"We don't know the reason why he doesn't want security. How can we pass any direction then?," the court asked.
Zubeda Begum, standing counsel of the Delhi government, told the court: "We are giving him protection. There are some officers at his residence and office."
Appearing for the central government, additional solicitor general (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra placed a file with details of security arrangements for the chief minister before the court, and said that additional security has been provided to Kejriwal.
Advocate Anoop Kumar sought the court's intervention, saying Kejriwal "should not expose himself to danger".
Anoop Kumar asked the bench to direct the central government and Delhi Police to provide the best security to Kejriwal and his ministers in the Aam Aadmi Party government.
"He is not (just) an individual but an institution. As such, he can be subjected to grave and imminent danger. Kejriwal should not be allowed to object to security cover for himself and his ministers," the lawyer argued.
"Ten times more cops are being deployed and ten times more expenditure is getting incurred than normal on keeping the chief minister safe, and even then there is no foolproof security," he said in the plea.
The safety of the chief minister was not only his personal issue, but the issue of the state and security agencies, the plea said.
Safety of officers, visitors, friends and family members of the chief minister was also dependent upon his safety, he said.
Anoop Kumar said no one can be permitted to expose himself and others to lethal danger because of personal, political or ideological reasons.
"Not only (have) our cities and citizens been targets of terrorist groups, our people are also being eliminated either out of revenge or with a view to settle scores or even due to ideological differences. Political animosity and rivalry have become a routine feature of the society," the lawyer's plea said.