Strongly disapproving of police protection given to 'all and sundry', including Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assembly who face no security threat, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre and all the states to furnish names of the people who are provided a security detail and the expenditure borne by states for it.
A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi said only those who hold important constitutional posts or face a threat to their lives should be given police protection.
"Security can be given to the head of state, the prime minister, the vice president, the speaker, the chief justice of India, the heads of constitutional authority and similar counterparts in the states. But why are all and sundry given a red beacon and security? Even the mukhia and the sarpanch move with a red beacon," the bench said.
It asked state and Union territories to furnish all the information regarding the people enjoying police protection and the cost borne by the government on their security.
"Let the states file a reply with the names and the designations of the people to whom security personal have been provided and the number of the security personnel provided to them," the bench said.
Total cost borne by the state for providing security should also be provided within three weeks, the bench said.
"Why should the government not take a decision to scrap and make it specific about who can use red lights," the bench said, adding that family members of some people who are living in villages have a dozen security personnel to protect them.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by a UP resident on the misuse of red beacon in the state.
The Centre submitted that security should not be confined only to a few dignitaries and protection should be given on the basis of threat perception to an individual.