Srinagar: Ruling on a petition by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) corporator of Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Nazir Ahmad Gilkar, seeking security cover due to threat perception from unknown elements, the J&K High Court on Monday said that it is the constitutional obligation of the State to protect the life and liberty of citizens if there is perception of a genuine threat.
Justice Sanjay Dhar said, “It is a settled law that so far as the security of an individual including a political worker is concerned, the same is to be enhanced or downgraded with regard to the threat perception to the individual.”
It was recorded by the judge that for assessing the threat perception to an individual, the security agencies of the government should conduct a periodic review and take appropriate steps in accordance with recommendations of the review so conducted.
“This Court in exercise of its writ jurisdiction cannot direct the Government of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to provide a particular level of security to an individual. The level of security to be provided to a political worker is the sole domain of the security agencies,” the court said.
However, it was the constitutional obligation of the State to protect the life and liberty of citizens, the court held.
“The security agencies are, therefore, duty bound to protect the life of the petitioner, who as per the advisory of the security agencies is facing a genuine threat to his life. The matter regarding security of the petitioner, therefore, deserves to be considered by the respondents with all seriousness,” the court said and directed.
The court further directed the respondent authorities to make a fresh assessment of threat perception to the life of the petitioner and while doing so, to consider the facts and circumstances highlighted by the petitioner in the instant petition, a copy whereof shall be provided by the petitioner to the respondents.
“A decision regarding the level of security to be provided to the petitioner in accordance with the report of the security review committee shall be taken by the respondents expeditiously, preferably within a period of one month from the date of a copy of this order,” the court directed.