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Updated list of VIPs exempted from security check at Indian airports

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.
India TV News Desk September 17, 2015 13:46 IST
India TV News Desk

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. The list below has been updated accordingly. A copy of the new list is awaited.

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 us has the following information.

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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 receiprocity/bilateral agreement in respect of forgien dignitaries
  • On the basis of Security ground.

Contrary to perception, Robert Vadra is exempted from security check only when he is travelling 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.

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Based on the above grounds, Government of India has exmepted the following categories of people from pre-embarkation checks at civilian airports

  •     President
  •     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 spouces
  • 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 India

(Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.)