New Delhi, Feb 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday asked Delhi Police why its personnel, deployed for security of people who were not entitled or require it, were instead not being deployed for security of the citizens, especially women, in the wake of Dec 16 Delhi gang-rape.
A bench of Justice G.S.Singhvi and Justice H.L. Gokhale made the comment after amicus curiae Harish Salve told the court that the tax-payers' money was being spent on VIP security and if the same force was deployed for the random checks in buses, then incidents of crime against women would not happen.
He said thousands of security personnel were being deployed for VIP security and huge amount was being spent on them which could in turn be used for the safety of the citizens.
As Salve made his contention, the court recalled Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's statement that "women can't feel safe in Delhi" and said these police personnel could be deployed for making city safer, especially for women.
Taking note of a large number of personnel deployed for the security of those who had held the official position in the past or for family members of those presently holding official positions, the court said it can understand constitutional authorities like the president, vice president, prime minister, speaker being provided with security but why judges.
"What is the requirement of security for the judges, except the Chief Justice of India? All the judges of the Supreme Court and that of the High Court are in the list. What is the purpose?" the court asked questioning as to why former holders of certain positions were still getting security cover.
Delhi Police, in their affidavit before the court, said that more than 8,000 of their personnel were deployed for the VIP security in the city.
The court also inquired about the number of people having security cover and who are facing criminal cases.
Describing the deployment of police personnel for the security of those who are not entitled for it as "worrisome", the apex court noted that in some cases as many as 100 or more security personnel were deployed for security of some people.
Expressing concern over the deployment of a large number of police personnel in the name of VIP security, the court took exception to a number of state governments not filing their response to the court's notice on the subject.
The court gave time till Feb 11 to all these states to file their response, and warned that in case of default, the home secretaries of these states will have to be present in the court in the next hearing Feb 16.