SC asks govt if VIP security can help protect women

SC asks govt if VIP security can help protect women

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to explain if the number of personnel deployed for security of VIPs for unexplained reasons could be better utilised for ensuring safety of women in the national capital.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and H L Gokhale also told Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising, appearing for the Centre, to furnish details on the number of people facing security threats.

“You tell us about the number of security personnel deployed in the national capital. Could they not be employed for ensuring security to the people here? Even the chief minister of Delhi is saying the women are not safe in the city,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a petition challenging the Z-plus security provided to a Congress MLA from Uttar Pradesh. The court had earlier converted the special leave petition into a PIL to check the use of red beacons in vehicles meant for the VIPs.

Better utilisation

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that thousands of crores of rupees that was being spent at present on security, could be utilised in a better manner.

“Had about 4,000 people deployed in security been used for random checks on buses, no December 16 type incident involving gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl would have happened in the city,” he said.  

“We require your assistance as we want to know the number of people who are in office and facing security threats. Please don’t bother about Constitutional heads. There are also people having security cover without any threat. We are not bothered about individual cases. There are also relatives of people in office having huge security cover,” the bench said.

The court, which adjourned the matter to February 14, warned the states which did not file their affidavits on the number of security personnel deployed for VIP security and the cost borne.

Giving them time till Monday, the court said if the states failed, the home secretaries concerned will have to personally appear before the court. Karnataka is one among the defaulting states.

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