The Madras High Court denied police protection to K. Venkatesh, a State Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stating that a normal citizen should not get the impression that people with criminal backgrounds are also provided with police protection.

The Court held that “wherever the person seeking for police protection has a criminal background and such a threat perception is as a result of his own activities, this Court should be very hesitant to grant police protection.

The politician had approached the Court seeking police protection for himself and his property. The Court averred that if the Court were to grant police protection to people with pending criminal cases against them, then it would send a wrong signal to society.

A Single Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh observed, “While considering the plea for grant of police protection, it is very important to take note of the background and the stature of the person, who is seeking for such a police protection. If the petitioner is a person without any background of criminal cases pending against him, this Court would have straight away directed the respondents to provide police protection to the petitioner without any hesitation.

Advocate Nithyaesh Natraj represented the petitioner, while APP A.Damodaran appeared for the respondent.

The Politician sought a Writ of Mandamus directing the government authorities to provide security based on complaints made by him regarding threats to his life and property.

Despite securing a gun license and making repeated representations to government officials seeking protection, the Politician claimed that no action was taken in response to his pleas.

During the hearing, the Court examined the petitioner's claims and the response from the police authorities. It was revealed that the petitioner had a history of criminal cases pending against him, both in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, including cases related to the smuggling of red sanders.

The Court observed that while there was a potential threat to the petitioner's life, it must be assessed in light of his criminal background and activities. The Court expressed concern that granting police protection to individuals with criminal backgrounds could set a wrong precedent,

Just because some persons with criminal background are given the police protection, that cannot be taken as a precedent by the Courts while considering the request made for the grant of police protection. Two wrongs don't make a right,” the Court remarked.

The Court explained that “assuming that this Court grants police protection to the petitioner, the order will be shown as a precedent in another case where a similar threat perception is encountered by another person with criminal background. Hence, while dealing with such a writ petition, the Judge will face an embarrassment in dealing with the earlier order where such police protection is directed to be given.

Accordingly, the High Court dismissed the petition.

Cause Title: Sri K. Venkatesh v. The Principal Secretary to Government & Ors.


Petitioner: Advocates Nithyaesh Natraj and Anirudh AS Sriram

Respondent: APP A.Damodaran

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