Originally Published On Factly | Author: Rakesh Dubbudu | Image Source: Zee News
After Robert Vadra’s Facebook Posts asking the government to remove him from the VVIP list, the government has announced that the new list of individuals exempted from pre-embarkation checks at airports does not include Mr. Vadra.
Read Robert Vadra’s Facebook post
So, who are those VVIPs that are exempted from the pre-embarkation security check at the civilian airports in the country? What is the basis for extending such exemptions?
The reply received from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India in response to an RTI application filed by Factly has the following information. According to the reply, a total of 33 categories of people are exempted from pre-embarkation security check at the civilian airports. Such exemption is granted on the basis of the following
- On the basis of Protocol
- On the basis of reciprocity/bilateral agreement in respect of foreign dignitaries
- On the basis of Security ground.
Contrary to perception, Robert Vadra is exempted from security check only when he is traveling with SPG protectees (Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi etc). The Special Protection Group (SPG) is one of the eight Central Armed Police Forces of India formed in 1988 by an act of the Parliament of India for “providing proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and former Prime Minister of India and members of their immediate families (wife, husband, children and parents)”. Family members of a serving Prime Minister (PM) may decline security. Former PMs and their immediate family members may also, if they choose, decline SPG security.
Based on the above grounds, Government of India has exempted the following categories of people from pre-embarkation checks at civilian airports.
- Vice President
- Prime Minister
- Governors of States
- Former Presidents
- Former Vice President
- 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 & Rajya Sabha
- Holders of Bharat Ratna Decoration
- 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 & Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha
- Minister of State of the Union Council of Ministers
- Attorney General of India
- Cabinet Secretary
- 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 at SI. Nos. 1 to 4,7,8,9 above
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
- SPG Protectees
- Spouse of the President of India is exempted from pre-embarkation security checks at all civil airports even when he/she is not accompanying the President
- Former Prime Ministers of IndiaSource: Response from the Ministry of Civil Aviation for an RTI filed by Factly Team.