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SC questions operations of private security agencies

Posted on Nov 21, 09:08PM | IANS

Taking suo motu cognizance of the killings of Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep Singh Chadha in a shoot out, the Supreme Court Wednesday issued a notice to the union home ministry on the regulatory framework under which private security agencies were operating.

Referring to the media reports, the apex court bench of Justice D.K. Jain and Justice J.S. Khehar while issuing the notice to the home ministry said: "We take suo motu cognizance of the said reports, relating, inter alia, to the licensing and working of private security agencies."

The court said the "recent firing incident, widely reported in the press, resulting in the death of two people, allegedly on account of use of firearms by some private security personnel is a matter of grave concern".

Framing four question for the home ministry to address, the apex court bench said that "the questions are of great public importance and need to be urgently addressed...."

The court asked as to "what is the legal regulatory framework under which the private security agencies operate" and "what are the parameters/norms that are considered for issue of firearm/weapon licences to private security personnel".

The court also sought information on the guidelines, if any, "governing the use of such firearms/weapons by private security personnel"; and if not, "whether it is necessary to frame definite parameters on the subject".

The court asked the ministry to inform it about "the rights and duties of private security agencies under the law, particularly, vis-a-vis the criminal law of the land".

The apex court asked the ministry to file an affidavit explaining its stand on the "broad questions" posed by it and gave it two weeks time to respond. The court said the affidavit should be filed by a senior ministry official.

It directed the registry to post the matter for Dec 6.