default in dues
Mumbai, Feb 3 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today said the state police department should initiate steps to recover dues of police protection provided to politicians from the political parties concerned.
A division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni rapped Maharashtra government for continuing to provide police protection to some political leaders when they have not paid the dues for years together.
"From 2005 no payment is made, but you have continued to provide the police protection," said the bench referring to a particular political leader whose name figured in the list of defaulters submitted by the government.
The bench was hearing a PIL filed by city resident Sunny Punamiya seeking direction to state police to recover dues from VIPs including politicians who have been provided security cover but have not paid till date.
"You (government) are not running the police department only for rich people... It is meant for everybody. If necessary you run a separate agency for providing protection to private persons," the court said.
"Recover the dues from political parties, if the functionaries are not paying the same," the bench said.
"We want to know why dues are not recovered? Are they unable to pay or is it that you want to treat them as VIPs," the court added.
The bench also clarified that it was not its view that police protection should not be provided to individuals, but its only concern was to see that the it should not be a loss to the public exchequer.
Government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani today informed the bench that the police protection has been continued, despite non-payment of dues, only in case of political functionaries who are facing threat to their lives.
The court has posted the petition for further hearing after few weeks.