SC stays HC orders on security to Ambanis

It also sought response from the industrialist, his wife Neeta and his three children — Akash, Isha and Anant — as to why security cover should not be withdrawn from them.

sc on ambanis
A vacation bench led by Justice Surya Kant, however, refused to stay the proceedings before the HC

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the implementation of the Tripura High Court’s orders that sought to examine the threat perception that had led to grant of high-level security to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and his family. It also sought response from the industrialist, his wife Neeta and his three children — Akash, Isha and Anant — as to why security cover should not be withdrawn from them.

A vacation bench led by Justice Surya Kant, however, refused to stay the proceedings before the HC. Z+ category security was given to Mukesh in 2013 and Y+ category cover was given to Neeta in 2016 on the basis of inputs and assessment reports received from intelligence and investigation units, no central security cover was given to their three children and the expense for giving such security was duly borne by the Ambanis, the Centre told the SC.

Acting on a PIL, the HC had passed two interim orders in May and June summoning 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.

“…the very indulgence of the HC to judicially review the decision of the Central Government to provide security cover to some of the respondents suffers from patent and manifest errors of law and is perverse requiring interference of the SC,” the appeal said, adding that “the territorial jurisdiction of the state of Tripura was completely alien to the subject matter of petition”.

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