India’s businessmen have faced many threats for the past decades. Hence, it has become common practice for them to have a security cover around them.
India’s richest businessman, MukeshAmbani did face a slew of threats some time back and hence, it was decided to offer him security and cover from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The CRPF is the largest of India’s Central Armed Police Forces. The force is considered India’s largest paramilitary force and serves many functions including security, covert operations and counter-insurgenceoperations.
While the decision to award CRPF security to the RIL Chairman was lauded, some people thought otherwise. A petition was filed in June 2013 challenging a High Court order to provide Mr. Ambani with security. The crux of the petition challenged the Centre’s decision to grant the extra cover at Ambani’s cost on the basis of a threat perception to the industrialist’s life. However, India’s apex court, The Supreme Court upheld the order of the High Court and trashed this petition. This decision permitted the Centre to provide additional security cover from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to industrialist MukeshAmbani.
The argument invoked by the petitioner’s lawyer in court was that the CRPF was meant to detect crime while maintaining law and order and could therefore not be deployed as security for a private individual.But additional solicitor general KevicSetalvad for the government and senior counsel Rafiq Dada appearing for Ambani said the term “maintenance of law and order” are wide enough to include power of the Centre to provide security to any individual too. They also commented that ‘for any other purpose’ also has to be interpreted widely.
The Supreme Court Bench, chaired by Justices H.L. Dattu and SharadBobde on January 20th announced the verdict. In their statement, the honourable judges expressed the view that Ambani was providing employment to thousands and was therefore entitled to CRPF level security.