1. The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which will now protect the Prime Minister and members of his immediate family residing with him at his official residence.
  2. It will also provide security to former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members staying with them at the residence allotted for a period of five years from the date on which they cease to hold office.

The Opposition walked out during the voting on the Bill.

Opposing the Bill during the debate, MP N. K. Premachandran said: “The reasons given for bringing in the amendment includes resource constraints and allowing more effective functioning of the SPG. This doesn’t seem to be the case. The existing Bill has the provision for review, which allows the government to sieve and remove those it feels has lowered threat.”

He added: “Two former Prime Ministers of the country were assassinated when their SPG cover was gone. Rajiv Gandhi was brutally killed in Sriperumbudur in Chennai. These two former Prime Ministers sacrificed their lives. I suggest that we are not seeking for any particular individual. If there is any security threat, they have to be protected. Kindly don’t play politics in this issue. I would recommend for the Bill to be withdrawn.”

Source: The Hindu

Relevant for GS Prelims & Mains Paper II; Polity & Governance