New Delhi: Amid slogans and shouting by the members of the Opposition over Maharashtra political crisis, a bill to amend the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill was introduced by Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishen Reddy.
The development comes days after the Union Home Ministry withdrew the SPG security cover from Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
As per the latest development to the proposed amendment, family members of former prime ministers will also not be given the SPG security cover. The SPG security cover will only be given to the prime minister of the country. The SPG security cover for former prime ministers is subject to the threat perception.
As per the bill, the law at present allows the SPG security to cover former Prime Ministers and their families for a period of 10 years after termination of their service.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was providing ‘Z plus’ security cover to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. Moreover, the CRPF was also providing the same protection to the Gandhi Family since November 8 as per the government order.
However, this is not the first time that the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act is being amended. It was earlier amended in 1991, 1994 and 1999 as well.
The Special Protection Group (SPG) Act was set up in 1985 after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984.
In 1988, the Parliament had also dedicated the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act to protect the Prime Minister. However, that time, it was not meant for former Prime Ministers.