Delhi HC seeks Centre’s comprehensive stand on Subramanian Swamy plea over security, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

New Delhi, The Delhi High Court on Monday sought a comprehensive affidavit from the Centre assuring it would address security concerns at the private residence of former BJP MP Subramanian Swamy, a ‘Z category’ protectee. The court was informed by the central government that a security review of Swamy’s private house, where he would be residing after vacating the government-allotted bungalow, has been undertaken.

The senior politician — a former Rajya Sabha member — would get whatever he is entitled to as a ‘Z category’ protectee residing in a private space, the government said.

The Centre’s lawyer said “skeletal security” has been provided at Swamy’s private residence and the “main guard would move along with him” from the government bungalow.

If there is no place to set up adequate infrastructure such as a guard room six security personnel would be placed on rotation basis at Swamy’s private house, the lawyer said.

“The day he intimates us, the entire set up will move to his new house,” the lawyer said.

The government’s response was to Swamy’s claim that in spite of an earlier assurance, the Centre is yet to make adequate security arrangements at his private accommodation.

“Whatever his entitlement is, he will get it. Whatever the standard procedure is for private spaces,” the Centre’s lawyer told the court as he claimed that a “compliance affidavit” has been filed in the matter.

Justice Yashwant Varma, however, questioned the Centre over the absence of infrastructure facilities at the private residence as well as when the arrangements would be put in place and how it would “rotate six guards”.

The lawyer said that he would put Centre’s stand in relation to court’s queries on an affidavit.

He stated that “it is better that I put everything on the affidavit. Because for us to provide such guard rooms to each and every private individual…”. The court, however, said, “He is not every private individual, he is an individual to whom you have granted Z category.”

The lawyer assured the court that all adequate arrangements would be done according to applicable protocol.

“(Centre’s counsel) prayed for and is granted time to file a better comprehensive affidavit in order to assure the court that the security concerns pertaining to the petitioner shall be duly met,” the court ordered.

Senior advocate Jayant Mehta, appearing for Swamy, contended that security-related facilities are yet to be provided at the former MP’s private residence and while October 26 was the last date given to him to vacate the government bungalow, authorities “visited” the new premises only after the matter was mentioned before the high court on October 27.

The Centre’s counsel asked the court to note that there were festivals when “there is heightened security risk”.

However, the court asked the counsel not to make “generic statements”.

On September 14, the court had directed Swamy to hand over possession of his government bungalow to the estate officer within six weeks, noting that the allotment was made for a period of five years, which had come to an end.

Swamy, whose term as a member of the Upper House of Parliament came to an end on April 24, had earlier moved the high court for re-allotment of the government bungalow citing security threats to him.

While disposing of Swamy’s petition seeking re-allotment, the court had recorded that there was no material shown which mandated and required the allotment of government accommodation to a ‘Z category’ protectee.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the government, had submitted that while Swamy continues to remain a ‘Z category’ protectee, the policies and guidelines which govern such protectees does not obligate the government to also provide residential accommodation from the general pool.

He had said while the Union government would continue to extend ‘Z category’ protection to him, subject to due periodical review, it would not be possible for the government bungalow to be realloted to Swamy.

Jain had said in any case, the petitioner has his own residential premises where he can possibly shift and the protecting agencies would take all further steps in that premises as may be warranted to ensure his safety and security.

The matter would be heard next on November 3. PTI ADS ANB ANB

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