By Rakesh Dubbudu/ Indiaspend.org
Robert Vadra, son in law of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, continues to be officially exempt from security checks at airports, according to a right to information (RTI) response received from the government by data journalism site factly.in.
This contradicts reports in September that Vadra’s name has been removed from what is called the “no-frisk list”.
While the latest list of those exempt from security checks does not have Vadra’s name on it, in comparison to the old list, there is an additional note on the new list that allows him to bypass security–if he so chooses.
“The accompanying spouse of the above said VVIPs/VIPs is also exempted from pre-embarkation security checks at all civil airports in the country,” the new note said.
This means that if Vadra accompanies his wife Priyanka Gandhi, who is protected by the Special Protection Group (SPG), he is still exempted from pre-embarkation checks.
As many as 32 categories of people are exempt from pre-embarkation security checks at India’s civilian airports, said the RTI response received by factly.in. Such exemptions are granted:
-On the basis of Protocol
-On the basis of reciprocity/bilateral agreement in respect of foreign dignitaries
-On the basis of Security ground.
Here’s who is exempt from security checks at Indian airports, according to the latest list:
Governors of states
Former Vice Presidents
Chief Justice of India
Speaker of Lok Sabha
Union Ministers of Cabinet rank
Chief Ministers of States
Deputy Chief Ministers of states
Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha
Holders of Bharat Ratna awards
Ambassadors of foreign countries, charge D’ Affairs and High Commissioners and their spouses
Judges of Supreme Court
Chief Election Commissioner
Comptroller & Auditor General of India
Deputy Chairman Rajya Sabha and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
Ministers of State of the Union Council of Ministers
Attorney General of India
Lt Governors of union territories
Chiefs of staffs holding the rank of full General or equivalent rank
Chief Justices of the High Courts
Chief Ministers of union territories
Deputy Chief Ministers of union territories
Visiting Foreign dignitaries of the same status as president, chief justice, governors, former presidents and vice presidents.
The Dalai Lama
Spouse of the President of India is exempt from pre-embarkation security checks at all civil airports even when he/she is not accompanying the President
Former Prime Ministers of India
Note: The Accompanying spouse of the above said VVIPs/VIPs is also exempted from pre-embarkation security checks at all civil airports in the country.
The Special Protection Group (SPG) is one of eight central armed police forces of India. It was created in 1988 by an Act of the Parliament of India for “providing proximate security to the Prime Minister (PM) of India and former Prime Minister of India and members of their immediate families”.
Family of a serving PM may decline security. Former PMs and their immediate family may also, if they choose, decline SPG security.
(Indiaspend.org is a data-driven, public-interest journalism non-profit)
Updated Date: Dec 17, 2015 11:31:31 IST