Parliament passes the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to amend the Special Protections Group Act, 1988.
Special Protections Group Act, 1988: Salient Features
– Based on the recommendations of the Birbal Nath committee report, SPG came into existence in 1985. From 1985 to 1988, SPG was governed by an Executive Order and only in 1988 the SPG Act came into existence.
– Under the Act, the Special Protection Group (SPG) provides security to the Prime Minister and his immediate family members.
– It also provides security to former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members for a period of one year from the date on which they cease to hold the office. Beyond this period, the SPG security is provided based on the level of threat as decided by the central government.
– The threat must: (i) emanate from a military or terrorist organisation, and (ii) be of a grave and continuing nature.
– If the SPG security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, it will also be withdrawn from his immediate family members, unless the level of threat faced by the immediate family member warrants such security.
Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019: Salient Features
– The Bill amends this provision to state that the SPG will provide security to the Prime Minister, and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence.
– It will also provide security to any former Prime Ministers, and his immediate family members residing with him at the residence allotted to him.
– This security will be provided for a period of five yearsfrom the date on which he ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.
– If the SPG security is withdrawn from a former Prime Minister, it will also be withdrawn from his immediate family members.