In an order dated 27th February 2023, the Supreme Court of India, in Union of India Vs. Bikas Saha case has directed government to provide the highest Z-plus security cover to the industrialist Mukesh Ambani and his family in India and while travelling abroad.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed before the High Court of Tripura at Agartala, wherein the main relief claimed was to quash and/or to set aside and/or to remove or withdraw all the special securities provided to private respondent nos. 2 to 6 (viz. Mukesh Ambani and his family).
High Court directed the Union of India to produce status reports regarding the threat perception with respect to the private respondent nos.2 to 6. Challenging the aforesaid two orders, Union of India filed the captioned Special Leave Petition which came to be disposed of by a three- Judge Bench of this Court vide order dated 22.07.2022.
The counsel for the government sought clarification if order dated 22.07.2022 was restricted to providing of security cover exclusively within the State of Maharashtra, which is the place of business and residence of Mukesh Ambani and family.
The counsel appearing for the Ambani family contended that the highest level of Z+ Security cover was provided to respondent, in view of continuous threat perception assessed by Mumbai Police and Ministry of Home Affairs and Union of India. Further, they continued risk of being targeted to financially de-stablize the country and such risk exists not only throughout India as also when the said respondents are traveling abroad.
The judges were of 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.
The Court observed that the Security Cover provided to Mukesh Ambani and family has been the subject matter of controversy at different places and in different High Courts.
To put an end to entire controversy once and for all, the Court ordered that the highest Z+ Security Cover provided to Mukesh Ambani and his family shall be available across India and while travelling abroad, as per the policy of Government of India and the same is to be ensured by the State of Maharashtra and Ministry of Home Affairs. And the entire expenses and cost of providing Highest level Z+ Security Cover to them within the territory of India or abroad shall be borne by them.