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Supreme Court permits Centre to continue with security cover for Ambani family

The apex court quashed a PIL in Tripura High Court that challenged security cover for the Ambani family and said that the RIL promoters would pay for security.

July 30, 2022 / 05:34 PM IST
Representative Image

Representative Image


A Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India has said that the center can continue to provide security cover to the Ambani family and junked a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the Tripura High Court which had challenged the deployment of security by the government for the promoters of Reliance.

As is the practice now, the Ambani family, the bench said, will pay for the expenses of maintaining such security cover.

In an order passed on July 22, the court noted that the petitioner in the case did not have any legal standing to challenge security detail provided to a private person by way of a PIL.

The matter had reached the Supreme Court after the center challenged an order passed by the Tripura high court on the PIL asking the government to furnish a status report relating to the threat perception to the Ambani family warranting a security detail.

The order of the high court was stayed by the top court in June following which the case was heard in detail.

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During the court of the argument, the Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta questioned the locus standi, or the legal standing of the petitioner, to agitate the issue before the courts. The government counsel also argued before the court that security deployment is granted after a thorough analysis of any threat perception.

The bench headed by the chief justice of India questioned the petitioner about his locus standi and asked, "What is your locus and why are you bothered about the security? The government is there, they will take care. Why are you bothered? Its about somebody's security," reported LiveLaw.

Senior Counsel Harish Salve representing the Ambani family informed the court that the family was footing the bill for the security detail and there was no case made out for a PIL matter.

In its detailed order, the top court noted the recent incident of a bomb scare outside the residence of the billionaire businessman and remarked, "the threat perception of a party is based on the inputs received from the concerned agencies."

"It is not in dispute that private respondents no. 2 to 6 (members of the Ambani family) are the promoters of, and in the management of, some of India’s biggest and most prominent companies. There are no reasons to disbelieve the existence of a threat to the lives of the respondents no. 2 to 6," the bench recorded in its order.

The top court observed in its order that the government proceeded to provide security cover after being fully cognizant of the threat perception and as such there was no ground to entertain the PIL "filed by a third party who has not proved his locus."

Noting that a similar petition filed before the Bombay High Court was also dismissed, the top court proceeded to quash the present PIL and closed the proceedings before the Tripura High Court.

The court directed the center to continue providing adequate security for the Ambani family at their own expense, in line with the direction that was made by the Bombay High Court at an earlier instance.

Disclaimer: Moneycontrol is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.
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first published: Jul 30, 2022 05:34 pm
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