Protect women, common man before VIPs: Supreme Court tells cops

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Thursday said police personnel who are put on duty for giving security cover to VIPs be deployed for better purposes like making the roads safe for women.

A Bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi raised question about why so many people are given police security and said even judges of various courts would not have a problem if security personnel given to them are withdrawn and deployed on streets.

The Bench, however, refrained from passing any order as many states failed to file their response on the number of security personnel deployed in their states for VIP security and cost borne by them.

The apex court granted time till Monday to file affidavit on deployment of policemen for VIP security and said their home secretaries will have to personally appear before it if they fail to file their response.

It pointed out that the protection for women needs to be drastically increased in the national capital and referred to recent statement of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who said women in the city still feel unsafe.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by a Uttar Pradesh resident on misuse of red beacon in the state.

In earlier proceedings on January 17, the Bench had strongly disapproved of police protection given to "all and sundry", including MPs and MLAs facing no security threat and directed the Centre and all states to furnish names of the people given the security and the expenditure borne by states on it.

"Security can be given to the head of state, the Prime Minister, Vice President, Speaker, Chief Justice of India, the heads of Constitutional authority and similar counterparts in the states. But why all and sundry is given red beacon and security. Even mukhia, sarpanch move with red beacon," the Bench had said.

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