The Government on Wednesday expanded the list of VIPs exempted from frisking at airports.
Among those on the list are three service chiefs, the Planning Commission deputy chairman, Bharat Ratnas, Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General and the Attorney General.
This means that General Deepak Kapoor, Admiral Sureesh Mehta and Air Chief Marshal FH Major would now be granted this privilege at airports across the country.
The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), which has a list of VVIPs and VIPs, who are exempt from pre-embarkation security checks, will now amend the list as per the direction of Civil Aviation Ministry, an official release said.
Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said he felt that it was "absolutely appropriate" that the people who defended the country's borders should not be going through the same exercise (of security checks).
"This warrant of precedence which is issued by the President is the benchmark on which exemptions are given," the minister said.
The announcement comes in the wake of recent controversy over the service chiefs being subjected to security checks while SPG protectees enjoyed exemption from frisking at airports.
Following media reports on the issue, there were murmurs among the top brass in the services. Former chiefs complained that they were being subjected to security checks not taking into account their position.
Asked whether such exemption would trigger fresh demands from different section, the minister replied in the negative.
With PTI inputs