Special Protection Group (SPG) Act – Highlights

The Special Protection Group was created in 1985. The SPG protects Prime Minister and his immediate family members. It also protects the former prime ministers.

Key Features of SPG Act

  • The act defines “Proximate Security” as providing protection in close distance when the PM travels by rail, road, watercraft, aircraft or on foot. This includes his residence and other places of engagements and functions as well.
  • The SPG force is controlled by the Union Government. The directors and assistance directors of the group are appointed by the Union Government.
  • No member of the group shall resign during his term of service.
  • The members cannot join a trade union or political union or any other unions
  • They shall not communicate with the press

SPG (Amendment) Act 2019

Earlier the SPG protected the former PMs and their immediate family members for a period of one year after they left their office. After they leave the office, the protection was provided based on the level of threat faced by the former PM. The threat should be from a terrorist organization or from a military. It should be continuous and grave. And to the family members, the protection was provided anywhere else as well. Even when they were away from PM residence.

The above provision was amended. The SPG will provide protection to the former PM and his family members for five years after he leaves office. And the protection will be provided only at the residence allotted to him. Also, the protection will be provided to the family members only if they stayed with the former PM at his allotted residence.

While the PM is in power, the protection to his family members is provided only in his residence and not anywhere else.

Why was the act amended?

To reduce the huge drain of resources in allotting SPGs. Most of the times, the allotment was not realistic. It was misused for social status. The SPG protection should be offered only based on threat basis. It is a distinctive and special force. The GoI puts in huge resources in training these commandos.

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