That the states and the Centre accord a lot of importance to the security of VVIPs and VIPs is common knowledge. And, we all know that when it comes to the aam aadmi, the situation is exactly the opposite. When a man or a woman is in distress, help is hard to come by.
Now that the Supreme Court has sought the details of the security cover extended to politicians, and also the expenditure incurred on it, it is likely to open a Pandora’s box. Just recently, DNA published a report that showed that in Maharashtra, between 2008 and 2012, there was a 10,000 per cent increase in the number of VIPs given state security free of cost.
The bench of Justices GS Singhvi and HL Gokhale rightly remarked that the “red beacon is provided to all and sundry’’.
A VIP’s security cavalcade can block arterial roads and cause long traffic jams. It doesn’t matter that thousands of commuters are inconvenienced, sometimes for hours.
One does not doubt the importance of providing armed guards or even bullet-proof cars to those holding powerful government positions, but there should be laws specifying who deserve that level of state security. As the Bench opined, the PM, the President, the Vice President, Speaker, the Chief Justice of India and their counterparts in the states can avail of such facilities. But should everyone with an ounce of power be permitted to flaunt gun-toting guards at the expense of the taxpayer’s hard-earned money?