Home Ministry in dilemma over Robert Vadra's frisking status
The Home Ministry says that it is looking into a letter written by the aviation ministry to withdraw privileges to Robert Vadra which exempts him from being frisked. The aviation ministry wrote it's second letter reminding the home ministry to withdraw this privilege given to Vadra.
After not having responded to the first letter, the Home Ministry now says that it is looking into the matter and an order would be issued soon. The aviation ministry in its two letters had told the home ministry that since Vadra does not hold any Constitutional post he cannot be given the privilege of not being frisked.
The home ministry before withdrawing this privilege has a couple of issues to look into. Since he belongs to the family of a former Prime Minister he was awarded security by the Delhi police commando security.
Rules over ruled
There was a hue and cry over the issue of Robert Vadra's security. He has been getting security because he is married to the daughter of a former Prime Minister.
In the year 1989 Sonia Gandhi and her family were given SPG cover for a tenure of ten years as per the rules.
In 1999 when that tenure ended the the SPG act was amended and Sonia's SPG cover was extended as the threat perception was high. The matter once again came up for review in 2010 and the then home ministry extended it by five years when the rule clearly states that any such extension can be done only for two years.
When the SPG cover for Sonia was extended the entire family got this benefit. Vadra too benefited from the same and was given the commando protection by the Delhi police.
As of date Vadra enjoys Z plus security and when he is with his wife he automatically gets SPG cover since Priyanka is covered by it. This ideally means that he at all times has 36 personnel guarding him.
Home Ministry's dilemma
For the home ministry there are several considerations before it. Vadra's security under Z plus has been in place for long now. However what the Home Ministry has to take into consideration is whether a person with Z plus security should be extended the privilege of not being frisked?
Experts however point out that the two are different issues. Being frisked at the airport will not interfere with his Z plus status.
He never was a constitutional authority and this privilege ought not to have been extended to him in the first place. He may argue that even Dalai Lama has this privilege despite not being a constitutional authority.
The aviation ministry in the case of Dalai Lama has made it clear that he will continue to enjoy that privilege since he heads a government in exile and is a religious leader.