New Delhi: Nine states and Union Territory of Chandhigarh were on Tuesday rapped by the Supreme Court for not giving details to the Ministry of Home Affairs about the list of persons being protected either by the central government or by the state administration.
"The Union Home Secretary is writing to all state secretaries. Why you did not respond to the letter of the Union Home Secretary? Was the copy of the letter not made available to you? "You do not have any answer. We are, so far, avoiding summoning senior officials to this court. It seems the soft approach of this court is misunderstood by the officers," a bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi said.
The bench, which is hearing a petition relating to the misuse of red beacons and VIP security to various categories of persons, on May 1 had asked the Chief Secretaries of all the states and Home Secretaries of the Union Territories to forward separate list of central protectees and protectees of the states or Union Territories concerned to MHA.
The MHA official was asked to compile the comprehensive state-wise list of protectees.
During the hearing, the court on Tuesday expressed its displeasure after perusing the affidavit filed by the MHA official revealing that as many as nine states and the Union Territory of Chandhigarh did not respond to its communication, issued in pursuance of the judicial direction.
Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Chandhigarh did not provide the list of protectees to MHA, the affidavit said.
However, 12 states/Union Territories provided either partial or incomplete information to MHA and the rest gave the complete details. "...For the time being, we do not want to express any opinion or pass any order, but do indicate that lack of response on the part of officers of the states and Union Territories requires serious consideration by this court on the next date of hearing," the bench, also comprising Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya said.
The bench also made clear that it would not grant adjournment of proceedings on ‘any ground’ on August 13, the next date of hearing.
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