Tribune News Service
New Delhi, October 31
The Supreme Court has dismissed a PIL seeking withdrawal of Z+ security given to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his family, saying it is for the State to take a call on such issues.
“It is for the State to assess and review the threat perception of individuals on a case to case basis,” a Bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said rejecting petitioner Himanshu Agarwal’s petition challenging a December 2019 order of the Bombay High Court.
The high court had said the State was bound to provide security to individuals willing to bear the entire cost for security to protect their lives in view of their own grave threat perceptions.
The Mumbai Police Commissioner had no option but to ensure that Z+ security was provided to Ambani and his family “irrespective of whether any individual or any authority is convinced about the existence or otherwise of real threat to their life or liberty”, as they were willing to bear the entire cost to protect their lives in view of their own grave threat perceptions, the HC had said.
Though the challenge to the high court’s order has been dismissed, the Supreme Court’s October 27 order has clarified that granting security to individuals would depend upon the assessment of the State and not the threat perception of the individual in question.
The Bombay High Court had noted that Ambani and his family members were not desirous of any security at the State expenditure and were ready to bear the cost for security provided by the State.
The High Court had cited the Supreme Court’s 2015 verdict in Biswanath’s case in which it was held that if the police were satisfied about the existence of threat to the life of citizens they shall be provided free security.