Private Security agencies are profit oriented venture or a corporation or a partnership firm which delivers security forces to the required body. The employees of these agencies are known as security guards or security officials in several countries according to the legislation that persists.
In India the private security agencies are governed by the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act of 2005 enacted by the Parliament with twenty five sections and a Schedule. The main purpose behind the legislation is to standardize the rights and duties of private security agencies and other issues in connection therewith. The Act defines ‘Private security’ to mean an individual not including a government official to safeguard and secure any personnel, assets or resources. A private security also consists of an armored car services. As described under the Act, ‘private security agency’ is an individual or group of individuals excluding a pubic agency or institution involved in the activity of supplying security guards as per necessity. Such agency also provides training to the guards or supervisor and endows the guards to any other company, corporation or undertaking.
The Act empowers the Central Government to appoint an officer of the Home Department equivalent to the Joint Secretary of the State to act as the Controlling authority. A person with similar rank shall also be appointed by the Government. The private security agency should obtain license to run such entity, without which it cannot supply security guards and the agency cannot provide overseas security services without the authorization of the Controlling Authority. The Authority does not grant license to a person if such person has been penalized in connection with the formation of the agency, if he manages relation with any institution forbidden by law, such individual is discharged from services of the Government and the agency can’t be registered in India.
An application for license accompanied by an affidavit shall be produced before the Controlling Authority with the payment of prescribed fee. The Controlling Authority after conducting necessary inquiry either provide or decline to provide license and the license if granted is legally valid for five years. The Act also provides for the renewal of license before the validity of previous license ends. The process of the agency starts within six months from the date of obtaining license. The private security agencies shall impart proper training facilities and instructions to the guards as prescribed under the Act.
The person should possess certain qualification to become a private security guard as enumerated under the provisions of the Act. Special preferences shall be given to the persons who served the armed forces, police, home guards etc by the concerned agency. The Central Government and State Government can formulate rules for granting license to a person including training facilities, details of the trainer, individuals forming the security agency etc. Where the license has been acquired through misrepresentation, fraud, false documents or any other illegal means, the Controlling authority is empowered to cancel such license granted to the agency.
Any aggrieved party to the order of cancellation of the license can prefer an appeal to the Secretary of the Home Department and such authority shall follow the principles of natural justice. Every private security agency shall maintain a register to include the details of the agency and the guards as stipulated under the Act. The Act also penalizes for the contravention of the provisions of the Act. In addition, the legislation empowers the Central Government and State Government to create rules to execute the provisions of the Act.
The private security agencies were carrying out without any management and supervision of the Government till the Act was framed. The Act directed the States to implement the Act, but this was an imperfect and conflicting task. Hence uniform standards are to be formulated for the execution of the Act in India.