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‘Trim security panel formed after 26/11’

Expressing its dissatisfaction over the large number of members in the State Security Council (SSC), the Bombay High Court on Friday asked the state government to reduce the size of the 66-member SSC committee.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2009 01:55 IST
Urvi Mahajani

Expressing its dissatisfaction over the large number of members in the State Security Council (SSC), the Bombay High Court on Friday asked the state government to reduce the size of the 66-member SSC committee.

The SSC was formed after 26/11 attacks to review the city’s security policies.

“Huge body becomes unmanageable. Let there be sub-committees and one person to co-ordinate it,” Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar said.

The division bench of Chief Justice Kumar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud also asked the government to file an affidavit stating how the decision taken by the SSC on its first meeting on January 2 is being implemented. The court was hearing a number of petitions filed in the aftermath of the 26/11 terror attack.

The high court directed the government to file an affidavit explaining what they have done to strengthen the police force to ensure that attacks similar to 26/11 are not repeated. “You need to make the police more efficient. Unless that is done, they will be like sitting ducks,” said Chief Justice Kumar.

Public prosecutor Satish Borulkar told the high court that the government had sanctioned Rs 16 crore for purchasing arms and ammunition, speedboats and establishing forces in the lines of NSG. “A modern training centre is also proposed,” he
added.

The court asked the state to explain who had assessed the need for arms and ammunition based on which the ammunition was purchased.

Stating that concrete steps should already have been taken, the court said the government will have to consider strengthening the police force in the entire state, especially in major cities such as Pune, Nashik and Malegaon, not just in Mumbai.

When the court asked whether any departmental action had been initiated against those found to be negligent in their duties, Borulkar sought more time.