Z-plus security for Ambanis in India as well as abroad: SC

The Supreme Court has clarified that the Z-plus category security cover provided to Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani and family at their own expense will not be restricted to Mumbai. The security cover will be provided to them all over India and also while travelling abroad, it said.

A bench of Justices Krishna Murari and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said that the “highest Z+ security cover provided to” them “shall be available all across India and the same is to be ensured by the state of Maharashtra and Ministry of Home Affairs”.

In its order dated February 27, the court also said the security cover be also provided while they “are travelling abroad and the same shall be ensured by the Ministry of Home Affairs”.
The court also clarified that the entire expenses and cost of providing the security cover “within the territory of India or abroad shall be borne by them”.

The court order came on an application by one Bikash Saha, seeking clarification of a July 2022 order of the apex court wherein it directed continuation of the security provided to them.

He contended that there is a lot of scope of misinterpretation of the 2022 order, unless it is clarified that its scope is restricted to providing security cover only within Maharashtra, which is the place of business and residence of respondents.

Appearing for the Ambanis, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the Z-plus security cover was provided “in view of continuous threat perception assessed by Mumbai Police and Ministry of Home Affairs and Union of India”.

He said the respondents “are at continued risk of being targeted to financially de-stabilize the country and such risk exists not only throughout India as also when the said respondents are travelling abroad”.

After hearing the two sides, the bench said, “We are of the considered opinion that if there is a security threat, the security cover provided and that too at own expense of the respondents, cannot be restricted to a particular area or place of stay…”