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  India   All India  26 Nov 2019  SPG for ex-PMs, kin only for 5 years

SPG for ex-PMs, kin only for 5 years

AGE CORRESPONDENT WITH AGENCY INPUTS
Published : Nov 26, 2019, 1:22 am IST
Updated : Nov 26, 2019, 6:41 am IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now the only person to be protected by the 4,000-strong SPG.

Bill says SPG shall provide security to ex-PMs and immediate family residing with him at his official residence only for 5 years. (Photo: Asian Age)
 Bill says SPG shall provide security to ex-PMs and immediate family residing with him at his official residence only for 5 years. (Photo: Asian Age)

New Delhi: Days after the elite Special Protection Group cover was withdrawn from the Gandhi family, the government introduced the SPG (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Lok Sabha on Monday, under which former Prime Ministers and members of his/her immediate family who live with him/her at the official residence would get SPG cover only for a period of five years from the date he/she ceases to be PM. Family members of former PMs who do not live with him/her would not get SPG protection even for five years.

The bill was moved in the Lok Sabha by minister of state for home G. Kishan Reddy amid slogan shouting by Opposition members over the Maharashtra issue.

 

The amended SPG law provides that proximate security will be given by the force only to the sitting Prime Minister and members of his/her immediate family if they live with him at the official residence.

The minister said in the existing law there is no cut-off period for providing SPG protection to former PMs or members of their immediate families. Thus, the number of individuals to be provided SPG cover can potentially become quite large.

In such a scenario, there can be constraints on resources, training and related infrastructure of the SPG. This can also impact the effectiveness of the elite force in providing adequate cover to the principle protectee — the incumbent Prime Minister, the bill says. The proposed legislation says that therefore, it is considered essential to amend the law to focus on the core mandate, as the security of the Prime Minister, as head of the government, is of paramount importance.

 

The Special Protection Group Act 1988 was enacted to provide for the constitution and regulation of the SPG as an armed force of the Union for providing proximate security to the PM and his immediate family members. It was amended in 1991, 1994, 1999 and 2003 to extend SPG cover to former PMs and their immediate family members too, for different periods from the day the PM demitted office.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now the only person to be protected by the 4,000-strong SPG.

Tags: special protection group, lok sabha
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi