The Supreme Court has directed the government to provide the highest Z+ security cover to Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and his family members throughout India and abroad.
The entire expenses and cost of providing the highest level Z+ security cover to respondent Mukesh Ambani and his family within the territory of India or abroad shall be borne by them, the court said.
A bench of justices Krishna Murari and Ahsanuddin Amanullah passed these directions on Monday.
The court said it found that the Security Cover provided to the respondent Mukesh Ambani and his family has been the subject matter of controversy at different places and in different High Courts.
The court issued directions that the highest Z+ security cover be provided to respondent Mukesh Ambani and his family all across India and travelling abroad and the same is to be ensured by the State of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“Having heard learned counsel for the parties, we are of the considered opinion that if there is a security threat, the security cover provided and that too at own expense of the respondents, cannot be restricted to a particular area or place of stay. Looking into the business activities of respondents nos. 2 to 6 (Mukesh Ambani and his family) within the country as also outside the country, the very purpose of providing security cover would stand frustrated, if the same is restricted to a particular place or area,” the court said.
Senior Counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for the respondent contended that the highest level of Z+ security cover was provided to the respondent, in view of continuous threat perception assessed by Mumbai Police and Ministry of Home Affairs and Central government.
He further submitted that the respondent is at continued risk of being targeted to financially destabilise the country and such risk exists not only throughout India as also when the said respondents are travelling abroad. It is also pointed out that respondents have business across the country as also around the world and the philanthropic activities of their foundation penetrate even the remotest corner of the country and in view of the threat perception, the highest level of security cover is essential to protect them.
The court order came on a miscellaneous application filed in a matter pertaining to Union of India vs Bikash Saha.
The petitioner has challenged the High Court of Tripura at Agartala which has directed the Union of India to produce status reports regarding the threat perception with respect to Mukesh Ambani.
The top court closed the writ petition as it refused to interfere with the High Court of Tripura at Agartala’s direction.
Counsel for the applicant contended that the order dated July 22, 2022, needs clarification as the said order was restricted to providing security cover to respondent Mukesh Ambani only exclusively within the State of Maharashtra, which is the place of business and residence of the respondents.