SC questions Z-class security cover for Mukesh Ambani

The government had agreed to provide Mukesh Ambani with top-level security cover following threats to his life.

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today questioned the government's decision to provide state security to billionaire businessman Mukesh Ambani.

The government had agreed to provide Mukesh Ambani with top-level security cover following threats to his life.

Referring to the lack of security for the common man and, especially, to rape of the five-year-old child, the apex court said the rape would not have occurred if there was proper security in the capital.

Under 'Z Category' cover, Ambani will have 22 security guards, an escort and a pilot car, an arrangement similar to that provided for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi.

The country's richest man, who controls the Reliance Industries Ltd conglomerate, personally requested the 'Z Category' security that is usually reserved for politicians and top-level civil servants.

Ambani has agreed to pay the government up to Rs 900,000 a month for protection by armed commandos.


Ambani received a handwritten letter about two months ago that threatened an attack at his $1 billion Mumbai residence. He added that the Islamist group Indian Mujahideen was suspected of sending the letter, but investigations were still under way.

Social media websites were abuzz with criticism of the move, with many questioning why highly trained commandos should protect a private citizen.

Among them was Arvind Kejriwal, an anti-graft activist, who told Reuters: "He is such a rich man. He can hire the best security agencies. Why does the government need to provide him with security?"

"None of the political parties is opposing this move. This clearly shows Mukesh Ambani is in the good books of all political parties," Kejriwal added.