The home ministry has informed the Supreme Court that it has constituted a committee for redrafting rules for issuing gun licences to private security persons and their deployment, and also to lay down standard operating procedures for them. Agencies that recruit and supply private guards will also be under the ministry’s scrutiny.
The ministry is of the view that incidence of reckless firing and intimidation by private guards is on the rise across the country, especially in states like Delhi, UP and Haryana, putting “the safety and security of citizens in peril”. The decision followed a report by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, the amicus curae in the case, that more incidents like the November 2012 shootout in Chattarpur farmhouse, in which liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep were killed, are waiting to happen in Delhi due to absence of a mechanism for strict monitoring of adherence to rules on issuance of gun licenses to PSOs.
SC had taken suo motu cognisance of the firing incident, in which guards of both brothers were active, soon after its occurrence noting that “there were some questions that were of great public importance and needed to be urgently addressed”. It sought Kumar’s views on legal regulatory framework under which private security agencies operate and the norms for granting weapon licences to them.