Too many cops for VIP security, use some to keep city safe: SC
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"Yes, they can be deployed for several better purposes... Delhi Chief Minister has said the city is not safe for women. We are not concerned with individuals, but there are several persons who have been given security apparently without any reason or real threat. There are also people who are being prosecuted and are given security cover," a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and H L Gokhale said.
Earlier, submissions by Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Indira Jai Singh and senior advocate Harish Salve had highlighted that while thousands of crore of rupees and large number of policemen were deployed in VIP security, their strength could instead be used to make the city safer.
"More than 8,000 policemen are deployed in VIP security in Delhi alone. Even if 4,000 of them are taken off and asked to do rampant checking of vehicles plying on the roads with other policing tasks, the incident that recently occurred (December 16 gangrape) would not have happened," Salve said.
Court then sought to know from ASG Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for the Centre, about the different classes of people who were being provided security cover. Luthra had earlier adduced records containing the names of people given security but the court sought a detailed affidavit, classifying the VIPs in distinct groups.
"Do you see any justification to provide security to such a large number of people? We don't want to take the name publicly but there are some people in your list who are even facing criminal cases. What is the requirement of giving security to people who are holding positions and not Constitutional ones? You have put all the judges of this court and High Court in this category. What is the purpose?" the Bench asked.
Luthra said he would file a better affidavit.
Adjourning the matter for February 14, the bench asked all states, which had failed to filed affidavits on the number of security personnel deployed for VIP security and the cost borne by them, to do so by Monday. It said in case they fail, their home secretaries will have to personally appear before the court.
Govt affidavit on VIP security cover
8,049 policemen deployed for VIP security
Of these, 844 are for security of Rashtrapati Bhavan
460 VIPs in the national capital
Cost of security cover is Rs 341 crore
Of this, Rs 38.48 crore spent for Rashtrapati Bhavan
63,985 personnel deployed for maintaining law and order
3,448 personnel for crime prevention and investigation
5,847 personnel for traffic management