The central government told the Supreme Court that it had been pursuing a multi-pronged strategy to counter terrorism and had initiated a series of measures to put up a near fail-proof infrastructure for the purpose.
Stating this before a bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice B.S. Chauhan, it sought dismissal of a lawsuit by former attorney-general Soli J. Sorabjee that sought a directive to the government to enhance the country’s internal security.
The government contended that though the state was primarily responsible for maintenance of law and order in its territory, the centre had been taking a variety of measures to strengthen the security in the country and to combat terrorism.
The measures include ‘deployment of specific forces on various borders to ensure focused action in respect of each border, continuous vigilance and patrolling on the borders to check infiltration and other illegal cross-border activities, deployment of central paramilitary forces’ to assist the police forces in the states.
In the government’s affidavit, the home ministry’s under secretary R.V.S. Mani also told the court about some other measures. These include enhanced vigil and security of vital installations as well as strengthening of intelligence gathering and abilities at the cutting-edge level.
This was besides extending assistance to the state governments to upgrade and modernize their police forces. Similar efforts were also being made to better the central paramilitary forces.
The government said it was implementing a Modernization of State Police Forces (MPF) Scheme, ‘which is an important initiative of the union home ministry.’
The MPF Scheme includes assistance to the state police in securing modern weaponry, communication system and facilities for training, forensic sciences and intelligence gathering.
The centre is also helping state governments in implementing a mega city policing scheme to help them meet the special needs of cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
The government told the court that it was also engaged in creating regional hubs for National Security Guards (NSG) and empowering government officers of the ranks of joint secretary to requisition aircraft from any operator registered in India for the purpose of public safety.