Robert Vadra to remove himself from no-frisking list
Robert Vadra, who enjoys a "no-frisking" status while travelling with SPG protectees, posted on Facebook that he planned to remove his name on his own, owing to government inaction. Vadra had sent a written request to the government for removal of his name on 12 September. The aviation ministry has not taken the post kindly, stating that Vadra was politicizing the issue.
What is the no-frisking list?
The no-frisking list is a list of VVIPs or dignitaries who are exempted from multi-layered security checks at airports. It is prepared by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) with recommendations from the Home Ministry. The list includes the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Union cabinet ministers, opposition leader, Supreme Court judges, High Court chief justices, Chief Ministers, Governors and ambassadors, and SPG protectees.
What is the SPG?
The original Special Protection Group (SPG) Act was to ensure the security of current and erstwhile Prime Ministers and their immediate families, and was implemented in 1988.
Why is Vadra on the no-frisking list?
Vadra is the only private citizen to enjoy the "no-frisking" privilege, much to the anger of the public. A RTI was filed by the group RTI Anonymous in 2012 about Robert Vadra's no-frisking status. The Ministry of Home Affairs, compelled to reply, stated that Vadra enjoyed his status because of his marriage to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is a Special Protection Group (SPG) protectee.
Dalai Lama part of list
The only other individual, apart from Robert Vadra, who enjoys exemption from security checks at airports as of now, is none other than His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Vadra's removal not on aviation ministry's radar
Robert Vadra, is to retain his "no-frisking" status according to reports. The Home Ministry sent a note to the aviation ministry saying that the exemption is "only for facilitation purpose and not on security grounds", but left the final decision to the aviation ministry. Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Mahesh Sharma said, "We are not withdrawing Robert Vadra's name from the list."