Mumbai: The state home department has taken a stringent decision not to allow police protection or escort to anybody without considering his socio-economical and political background. According to new Government Resolution (GR) published on Friday, any private person who want police protection, armed or plain protection will have to pay for it and have to give bank guarantee of three months as protection fee.
Under the new guidelines any private person has to provide details of his properties before being provided police protection. However, the protection fee shall not be charged from a private person if his or her monthly income is below Rs 50,000 in terms of his or her filed Income Tax returns. In a strongly worded GR following the directives of the HC, the GR states that a person is neither entitled to a police protection as a matter of right, nor can it be granted as a matter of course.
“Certainly, it is neither a commodity that can be purchased, nor it is a service which can be availed by payment of service charges”, states the GR. However, in the case of private persons whose life is under threat from whichever source or origin, the seriousness of the threat shall decide as to whether or not police protection ought to be granted, but to the extent thereof, including the duration, degree and category thereof. However, persons having criminal antecedents may find it difficult to seek police protection under new guidelines.
A senior official from home department said taking into account past instances of unpaid dues amounting to about Rs 10 crores the government has now decided to take three months of advance protection fee in the form of Bank Guarantee. “If in case the person fails to pay the fees, the same can be recovered from the Bank Guarantee.” The police protection to private persons is provided in X,Y and Z categories depending upon the threat perception. The official however refused to divulge details of the fees charged and number of prominent VVIPs enjoying such police protection.
A committee headed by the Commissioner of Police shall take periodical review after every three months of the police protection and decide on increasing, decreasing or totally withdrawing the police protection. A similar committee at the district level is set up under the chairmanship of the Superintendent of Police.