Team  SoOLEGAL

Supreme Court Raps K’taka Govt For Asking Rs. 14.80 Lakh As ‘Security Bill’ For Maudani

Team SoOLEGAL 3 Aug 2017 4:14pm

Supreme Court Raps K’taka Govt For Asking Rs. 14.80 Lakh As ‘Security Bill’ For Maudani

On Friday, The state government should review the present list of expenses and furnish new expense considering only TA and DA of the security team, the bench has ordered.

On Thursday, The Supreme Court rapped the Karnataka government for asking Rs.14.80 lakh to provide escort to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader and accused in the Bengaluru blast case Abdul Nasser Maudani.

A bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice Nageshwar Rao came down heavily on the state counsel for not keeping its direction to charge the bare minimum amount for security-related expenses.

The state government should review the present list of expenses and furnish new expense considering only TA and DA of the security team, the bench ordered. The matter would be taken up on Friday for appropriate decisions.

The SC last week permitted Maudani to attend his son’s wedding and accordingly, relaxed his bail conditions to travel to Kerala from August 7 to August 14 to attend the wedding of his elder son to be held on August 9 in Thalassery.

This was apart from the permission of seven days which the Bengaluru trial court has given him to visit his ailing mother.

The apex court asked Maudani to bear the expense related to escort and directed the Karnataka government to charge bare minimum amount for this purpose.

But, the Karnataka Police demanded nearly Rs. 15 lakh for the purpose.

On Thursday, Maudani ‘s counsels Prashant Bhushan and Haris Biran strongly objected to the demand in the court.

Submitting the bill, Bhushan said: “When Maudani visited his mother last time we paid only Rs.18,000. Only four security persons were there to accompany. Now they are demanding Rs. 15 lakh plus travel expenses for 19 police persons for escort.  How can he pay this absurd amount?”

After going through the details of the expense, the court pulled up the Karnataka government for the exorbitant rate.

“How much, what is this?” was the first reaction of the bench.

“You want to make it (Kerala visit) impossible indirectly. He has not become the employer to pay them Rs. 8,400 per day for an ACP! Total Rs. 2.20 lakh for 13 days… apart from this, he is getting his salary. Your officers are on duty.  Duty entitled with TA/DA. Is there any special work to do along with escort? Use your common sense. While escorting, they are keeping eye on one man from point A to B and from B to A. Yes, officers are entitled to TA / DA. Is there any additional duty? For Rs. 4,000, a driver will drive anywhere. Escort means what? It’s only part of regular duty…” Justice SA Bobde said.

Counsel for the Karnataka government said they charged only Rs.12.54 lakh and this was as per service rules.

The state has already spent Rs.6 crore on Maudani while he was in prison as an undertrial prisoner, the counsel said.

But the court seemed unconvinced with these explanations.

“Don’t scuttle these things. We expect some seriousness,” the bench warned the state government.

“Providing security is the state’s job. This is not the way to guard him. With cognizance of whom are you taking such decisions? Take it seriously. It’s only to do with justice on the order of this court. Is this how the state government deals with the order? Is this the way,” the bench asked the counsel.

The court directed the state government to review the present expense and furnish new details by Friday.

Revised expense should include only TA and DA to the police persons.

Meanwhile, the Kerala Government came in support with Maudani in the court.

The state’s standing counsel G. Prakash appeared in the matter and said: “We are ready to provide him security once he enters Kerala.”

But the court rejected the offer saying: “That’s another matter. What is your role? Karnataka will do that. We don’t need your security. Let them (Kerala Police) give additional security if the Karnataka Police wants. If a man is accompanied from one place they can be with him throughout.”

Tagged: Supreme Court   Karnataka government  
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