Thursday, November 30, 2023

Supreme Court orders Z+ security to Ambani’s across India and abroad with expenses to be borne by them

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The Supreme Court has said that the Highest Z+ Security Cover that has been provided to billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani and his family is not limited to Mumbai, but be made available wherever they are travelling both Domestic or International.

The Supreme Court however clarified that the cost, is to be borne by the Ambanis.

A Bench consisting Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah have said that when Mukesh Ambani and his family are within India, it would be the State of Maharashtra who have to ensure of their security. However, when they are traveling abroad, the Ministry of Home Affairs would ensure the same.

The Bench keeping in mind that the issue of security cover provided to the Ambanis is the subject matter of litigation in different parts of the country passed the present order to give quietus to the disputes.

The order was passed by the Bench in a Miscellaneous Application that was filed by one Bikash Saha in the Centre’s Special Leave Petition that challenged the interim order by Tripura High Court’s that directed the the Ministry of Home Affairs to produce the original files regarding threat perception in relation to Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani and their children Akash, Anant and Isha.

The High Court directed that an officer from the MHA should appear before it with the relevant files in sealed cover on June 28, 2022.

A vacation Bench of the Supreme Court in June 2022 comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice JB Pardiwala had stayed the orders passed by the High Court seeking production of the files.

A 3-Judge Bench of the Apex Court thought it fit to close the petition before it as well as the one before the Tripura High Court. The bench closed the writ petition, while instructing the central Government to provide adequate security to the Ambanis at their own expense.

When the bench was disposing of the petitions, the 3-Judge Bench had noted that t is not in dispute that private respondents no. 2 to 6 are the promoters of, and in the management of, some of India’s biggest and most prominent companies.

The High Court of Bombay has also understood the need for Z+ security for the respondents (Ambani’s) and the Special Leave Petition against the same stands dismissed.

In these circumstances, we are not inclined to entertain this issue in a PIL filed by a third party who has not proved his locus.

Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the Ambanis said that his clients are at continuous risk of being targeted to financially de-stabilise the country and such risk exists in India and also when they are traveling abroad.

The Division Bench said that if there is a threat for which security cover is provided and that too at their own expense, it cannot be restricted to a particular geographic location. Considering that their business activities are across the country and also outside it, the purpose of granting security cover would be lost if it is restricted to a place or area.

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