75 private security agencies lose license in Pune

Over the last six months, Pune police have cancelled licenses of as many as 75 private security agencies in the city and issued show-cause notices to another 100 for serious lapses like not submitting required documents and hiring people with dubious background. The Pune police had initiated the drive against errant private security agencies in December last year. As a part of the drive, the police officials scrutinised the documents of the agencies and their employees.

Joint Police Commissioner Sunil Ramanand said, “It is time to act against errant security agencies since they are responsible for safeguarding the lives and properties of the citizens.” The action was initiated under the provisions of the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005, he added. At first, the licenses of those agencies were cancelled which failed to submit legal documents such as Income Tax returns among others to the licence-issuing authority. “Most of these agencies had acquired the licenses around five to six years ago. Despite having ample time at their disposal to submit the required documents, they chose to act otherwise,” Ramanand said.

During the inspection process, police officials also came across some agencies which had hired guards without conducting proper background check. “In case of two agencies, they had recruited guards who were facing charges under serious offenses like rape. Also, some agencies had not completed the police verification of their staffers, which is mandatory,” police said.

Also, some agencies were not paying Provident Fund (PF) to their employees, which is against the rules laid down under the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act, 2005. The police started giving licenses to security agencies after the Act came into force in 2005. However, on January 3, 2013, the state police put a stay on issuing licenses to private security agencies. However, the process was resumed in March 2014 after many businessman approached the government against the police’s move. There are around 480 agencies in the city with each employing around 10 to 80 guards. So far, over 200 agencies have been scrutinised by the police and the rest will be covered in the coming days.