Excess security given to Asaram Bapu: SC

In a veiled dig to arrested controversial godman Asaram Bapu, the Supreme Court Tuesday said hordes of security personnel have been guarding one accused which is not needed.

New Delhi: In a veiled dig to arrested controversial godman Asaram Bapu, the Supreme Court Tuesday said hordes of security personnel have been guarding one accused which is not needed.

"For last four-five days, the electronic media is showing that hordes of security personnel are guarding one accused. There is no need of this kind of security," a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda said.

The bench, which is hearing a petition relating to the misuse of red beacons and VIP security by various categories of persons, also said security personnel are not adequate in numbers for common persons.

"There have been instances where drug peddlers enter either in religious fray or in political fray and then he starts grabbing properties. Law journals are full of such cases. These persons are involved in heinous crimes," it said.

During the hearing, the bench reacted sharply to a submission of senior advocate Harish Salve that an Additional District and Sessions Judge, now presiding over a special anti-corruption court at Tis Hazari district courts complex here, has written to senior Punjab police officers demanding security cover, along with a pilot car, during his visit to the state.

"We are going to refer it to the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court," the court said.

"The (SC) registry is directed to send a copy of this note (submitted by Salve) to the Registrar of the Delhi High Court, who shall place the same before the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court or in-charge of protocol for further action," it said and asked the counsel for Punjab not to provide the demanded security cover to the trial court judge "under any circumstances".
During the hearing, the court asked Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran, appearing for the Centre, to respond to the suggestions mooted by Salve on the issue.

Salve has suggested that only the dignitaries holding constitutional posts be provided with the protocol, sirens and security cover etc.

He also said National Investigation Agency, Intelligence Bureau and the state police should assess the need to provide security cover to certain individuals.
"Security persons are not meant for opening the gate. If a person is given a security person, then five persons would be needed if you consider the duty roster...," the bench said, adding the "private persons can hire private agencies" which are in plenty.

The court has fixed the matter for further hearing on September 26. Earlier, the court had asked the Centre and the states to remove sirens from vehicles of VIPs as it is in violation of law and indicated it would pass directions for preventing misuse of red beacon also.
The bench had said misuse of red beacon and siren, granted by government to VIPs, is a menace to society and it must be stopped.

It had said the red light has become a status symbol and that police personnel, who are put on duty for giving security cover to VIPs, should be deployed for better purposes like making the roads safe for women.

PTI

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