press trust of india
New Delhi, 8 August
The Bombay High Court today dismissed a PIL questioning the Centre’s decision to provide Z security to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, in a verdict expected to have far-reaching consequences.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice MS Sanklecha observed, quoting a 1955 Supreme Court ruling, “The Centre enjoys executive powers to analyse threat perception and provide protection to a private person or entity.” By an executive order, the government had cleared Z security by a team of CRPF personnel for Mr Ambani on 21 April this year.
The HC bench relied on the 1955 SC verdict that said the Centre “is competent to take executive decision and need not wait for Parliament to enact or amend the law”. Stating this, the Chief Justice said, “The executive power of the central government are co-existent with the legislative power of Parliament.”
The CRPF may be deployed anywhere in the country not only to restore law and order, but for any other purpose as decided by the Centre.
Refuting the petitioners Mr Nitin Deshpande and Mr Vikrant Karnik’s plea to order withdrawal of security cover provided to the country’s wealthiest businessman, the HC judges said, “If you petitioners do not have objection to CISF protecting oil refineries, then why do you raise objection against the protection being given to the person who put these refineries.”
The Bombay HC further observed, “There is nothing in the CRPF Act or rules that takes away executive powers of the Central government to provide protection to a private person or entity.” The Centre decided to provide Z security to Mr Ambani after receiving a report from the Maharashtra’s home department, explaining the threat perception he faced was genuine.