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New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The government Monday told the Supreme Court that there were no guidelines or rules to regulate the working of private security agencies and an offence by a private security guard would be individual in nature and no liability could be attributed to their agency.
"There is no concept of vicarious liability under IPC (Indian Penal Code) and for the use of firearm resulting in the commission of an offence, the liability would be individual in nature and thus the private security agency cannot be held liable under the IPC for the commission of offence by the security guard," the union home ministry told a bench of Justice P.Sathasivam and Justice M.Y.Eqbal in its affidavit.
However, the court was told that that a private security agency could face the consequences of an offence committed by its security guard if there are "circumstances such as common intention, common object, conspiracy or abetment based on evidence".
The court was told that Section 100 of IPC providing for "private defence which applies to every person shall apply to private security guard".
However, the home ministry affidavit said that the private security guard can be held liable under the provision of IPC for committing offences and violating the law of the land. He would attract punishment and penalties for the misuse of arms and the violation of terms and conditions of licence.
It told the court that by a 1987 notification, companies, firms, banks, industrial and other establishments could hold the licence to possess fire arms but that did not extend to private security agencies. The "private security agencies in whatever form will not be included in the definition of company, firm or industrial establishment", the court was told.
The home ministry had filed its affidavit in pursuance to the apex court notice seeking details of the on the legal regulatory framework under which the private security agencies were operating.
The court had Nov 21, 2012, issued notice taking cognizance of the of the killing of Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep Singh Chadha in a shoot out.
Taking suo motu cognizance of the killings of Chadha brothers, an apex court bench of Justice D.K.Jain (since retired) and Justice J.S.Khehar said: "We take suo motu cognizance of the said reports, relating, inter alia, to the licensing and working of private security agencies."
The court wanted to know what was the legal regulatory framework under which the private security agencies operate and what were the parameters/norms that are considered for issue of firearm/weapon licences to private security personnel.
As Additional Solicitor General Siddarth Luthra told the court that there was no guidelines or regulation to regulate private security agencies, the court Monday appointed senior counsel Ranjit Kumar as amicus curiae to assist the court in the hearing of the matter.