Mukesh Ambani, family’s security can stay with Centre, says Supreme Court

The vacation bench had last month stayed the implementation of the Tripura High Court’s orders and had sought response from the industrialist, his wife Nita, his three children – Akash, Isha and Anant – as to why security cover should not be withdrawn from them.

Mukesh Ambani, family’s security can stay with Centre, says Supreme Court
Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Ambani family, submitted that the family was fully paying for the security cover granted by the Central government.

The Supreme Court on Friday quashed all the proceedings in the Tripura High Court, which had sought to examine the threat perception that had led to grant of high-level security to industrialist Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his family.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Raman directed the Union government to continue giving the security to the family.

It questioned the counsel for the PIL petitioner as to why is he “bothered” about grant of security cover? “What is your locus? What is your concern?,” the CJI said, while observing that the HC should not have entertained the PIL since the family was paying cost of security provided by the government.

The vacation bench had last month stayed the implementation of the Tripura High Court’s orders and had sought response from the industrialist, his wife Nita, his three children – Akash, Isha and Anant  – as to why security cover should not be withdrawn from them.

While Z+ category security was given to Mukesh in 2013 and Y+ category CRPF cover was given to Nita in 2016 on the basis of inputs and assessment report received from intelligence and investigation units, no central security cover was given to their three children and the expense for giving such security was also duly borne out by the Ambanis, the Centre had told the SC.

Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Ambani family, submitted that the family was fully paying for the security cover granted by the Central government.  He called the petition challenging the security before the High Court as “unfortunate” as also “the kind of slur and slander” being made on the issue.

Acting on a PIL, the HC had passed two interim orders in May and June summoning the Union Home ministry officials with original files on the threat perception linked to Ambani and his family on Tuesday. However, the matter could not be taken up by the HC on Tuesday.

Terming the PIL as “misconceived, frivolous and motivated” and filed by “just a meddlesome interloper, claiming to be a social activist and student” who had no locus, the Ministry of Home Affairs in its appeal stated that the HC “failed to appreciate that the family members were neither residents of Tripura nor any part of the cause of action remotely arising from Tripura existed,” thus the state HC had no jurisdiction over this matter.

“To provide a security cover or not to a civilian on the basis of threat perception is a technical matter which requires the expertise of trained persons manning law, order and security of the State. Therefore, these decision taken by such experts is not judicially reviewable…” the appeal stated.

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