New Delhi, Feb 8: The Supreme Court feels that security personnel deployed for VIPs should be shifted to ensure security for women. The rap of apex court came in the wake of brutal Delhi gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old paramedical student in the national capital on Dec 16, 2012. The horrific crime has shocked the nation. Everyone is complaining that cities are not safe for women.
Moreover, security personnel guarding VIPs are way too high than what is provided to common man of India.
Statistics say India's police personnel to population ratio is 1: 761, but there are as many as 47,557 cops protecting 14,842 VIPs across the country or three police personnel to one protectee.
Taking a note on the glaring anomaly, Supreme court on Thursday said police personnel who are put on duty for giving security cover to VIPs be deployed for better purposes like making the roads safe for women.
Now the question is will Congress-led UPA government and respective state governments take a note of this point and end the mal-practice?
A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi raised question about why so many people are given police security and said that even judges of various courts would not have a problem if security personnel given to them are withdrawn and deployed on streets.
The bench, however, refrained from passing any order as many states failed to file their response on the number of security personnel deployed in their states for VIP security and cost borne by them.
The apex court granted time till Monday to file affidavit on deployment of policemen for VIP security and said that their home secretaries will have to personally appear before it if they fail to file their response.
It pointed out that the protection for women needs to be drastically increased in the national capital and referred to recent statement of Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who said that women in the city still feel unsafe.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by a Uttar Pradesh resident on misuse of red beacon in the state.
In earlier proceedings on January 17, the bench had strongly disapproved of police protection given to "all and sundry," including MPs and MLAs facing no security threat and directed the Centre and all states to furnish names of the people given the security and the expenditure borne by states on it.
"Security can be given to the head of state, the Prime Minister, Vice President, Speaker, Chief Justice of India, the heads of constitutional authority and similar counterparts in the states. But why all and sundry is given red beacon and security. Even mukhia, sarpanch move with red beacon," the bench had said.
(With PTI inputs)