A division bench rapped the joint home secretary for writing to the DGP seeking his opinion on continuing the police protection to the ministers.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday pulled up the joint secretary of state home department for writing a letter to the Director general of police (DGP), Maharashtra seeking his opinion on withdrawing the security of people holding constitutional posts if they do not pay for their security cover provided by the government. The court was hearing a PIL, which did not involve the issue of security for people holding constitutional posts (judges, ministers, IAS officer, etc.) but the officer “misrepresented” the high court order.
During the hearing, even the petitioner’s advocate Sunny Punamiya clarified that his petition was restricted only to recovery of pending dues from VVIPs like builders, ex-MLAs and ex-MPs, who do not hold constitutional posts.
The division bench headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur of Bombay high court pulled up the state’s joint home secretary after examining the letter written by him to the DGP.
“This officer is not fit for this post, either he doesn’t understand court proceedings, or he has indulged in mischief,” said Chief Justice Chellur. The high court added, “This officer is joint secretary of the home department which handles important matters pertaining to security of the state.”
The bench told the state government’s pleader Abhinandan Vagyani to ask the home secretary to appear before the court. After the lunch hour, the high court judges spoke to home secretary in their chambers in the presence of joint secretary of home department.
The high court said that though it had not passed any such direction; the letter written to DGP in a way would give an impression that it was written as per court’s order.
During the hearing, the government counsel informed that the government has decided to take fresh suggestions from the DGP, the commissioners of police and the Revenue Department on the issue and take a fresh policy decision.