Supreme Court Stays Tripura HC Order Calling For MHA Files On Security Cover To Mukesh Ambani & Family
The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the orders passed by the Tripura High Court seeking the production of files of the Ministry of Home Affairs relating to the security cover given to billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani and his family in Mumbai.
A vacation bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala passed the interim order in a petition filed by the Central Government challenging the High Court's orders.
"Issue notice returnable on 22nd July, 2022. Meanwhile implementation of orders dated 31.05.2022 and 21.06.2022 passed by Tripura HC shall remain stayed", the bench ordered.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, submitted that the Tripura High Court lacks the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter. Saying that the security cover given to individuals cannot be subject matter of judicial review, the SG sought for stay of the High Court orders.
The High Court by way of the interim order dated June 21, 2022 had directed the the Central Government to place the original file maintained by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding threat perception and assessment report in relation to Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani and their children Akash, Anant and Isha, on the basis of which security has been granted to them.
The High Court directed that an officer from the MHA should appear before it with the relevant files in sealed cover on June 28. The direction was passed in a PIL filed by an individual named Bikash Saha.
The SG informed that the matter was not however taken by the High Court yesterday (June 28) as the bench was not available.
The SG also submitted that a similar PIL petition, with identical prayers, which was earlier filed before the Bombay High Court was dismissed by the High Court of Bombay and that the order was confirmed by the Top Court an SLP.
The Central Government has argued in the petition that the impugned orders has been passed by the in a PIL filed by an individual person who had no locus in the matter and was just a meddlesome interloper, claiming himself to be a social activist and student by profession.
It was also contended in the plea that the very indulgence of the High Court to judicially review the decision of the Central Government to provide security cover to some of the respondents suffers from patent and manifest errors of law.
"Therefore, the territorial jurisdiction of the state of Tripura was completely alien to the subject matter of petition. However, despite the same the Hon'ble High Court has directed the production of the original file regarding the threat perception and assessment report of the said Respondents for access, when it had no territorial jurisdiction or any legal basis to make such an order. Therefore, the interim orders passed by the Hon'ble High Court are completely without jurisdiction and unsustainable in the eyes in law and thus liable to be set aside," the plea stated.
Case Title: Union of India v. Bikash Saha & Ors.