SC seeks details of VIP security cost

The Supreme Court on Thursday directed all states and Union territories to furnish details of expenses incurred on providing security to various categories of persons, including people with criminal background.

"The Centre, all state governments and Union Territories administrations shall furnish the details of total expenses in providing security to public persons and private persons other than the Constitutional functionaries such as President, Prime Minister, Vice President, Lok Sabha Speaker... and their counterparts in states and Union Territories," a Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and H L Gokhale said.

The Bench, in its order, said, "Details of security provided to children, family members and the relatives of the public functionaries within and outside the state be also provided." It wanted to know whether the private individuals foot their security bills or they are borne by the state.

During hearing of a PIL filed by a Uttar Pradesh resident on misuse of red beacon, the Bench passed a slew of directions after going through two notes provided by the counsel. "If streets are unsafe then it has to be unsafe for the secretary of the state also," the Bench observed.

Advocate Harish Salve, who has filed a plea questioning the stoppage of traffic and security paraphernalia put in place for facilitating the movement of high functionaries during the cremation of former Prime Minister I K Gujral on December 3 here, gave examples of how the provision of providing security and beacon lights were being misused. He cited recent reports of Minister of State for Railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, surrounded by his security guards and supporters, reportedly entering and vandalising the residence of District Magistrate, Murshidabad.

Referring to the affidavit filed by Tamil Nadu, he said the Prince of Arcot was being provided security because of his old status accorded by the Britishers.

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