The Apex Court on Monday ordered to form a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to conduct an investigation in the security lapse matter during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent Punjab visit, when he was stopped on a flyover 10 kms away from Indo-Pak border for about 20 minutes by the protesters.
The plea seeking a court-monitored probe into the alleged security breach was being heard by the bench of supreme court justices headed by Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli.
Advocate General DS Patwalia, appearing for the Punjab government told the court that the records, evidences and the Prime Minister’s travel details have been taken on record by the Registrar General of the High Court. Show cause notices were also issued to the police officers who were on duty and other authorities in the state mentioning disciplinary action against them for the security lapse concerning the PM’s cavalcade.
DS Patwalia requested a fair hearing before a neutral committee from the top court.
The Supreme Court constituted committee involves the High Court’s Registrar-General, along with the officers who helped him seize and protect the documents, the DGP Chandigarh, and IG, also the National Investigation Agency.
According to the reports, Additional DGP (Security) could also be included as an alternative.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the state said that the show cause notice was issued before the hearing. He also blamed the Punjab state government for a “complete intelligence failure” on it’s part. He also added that the state admitted the fact that there had been a security lapse which was in violation of the Special Protection Group Act (SPG) and the ‘Blue Book’ which has the responsibility of the security of the Prime Minister.
“Convoy of PM had reached the place which was 100 m from the protest area, as per the Blue Book, it would be incumbent upon the officers that the rules are strictly implemented and state government should direct such officers so that there is minimum inconvenience. The fact that the state is defending them (police officers) is very very serious. The Central Government Committee had to examine where did this lapse take place.”Solicitor General Tushar Mehta
He also added that the matter should not be delayed.
The Court directed to form the inquiry panel led by a former Supreme Court Judge. It also directed the officers at the Punjab Police and the Special Protection (SPG) to cooperate and provide necessary aid to the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
12 January, 2022 (Wednesday): The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a committee to investigate the case of security breach of Prime Minister that led to his cavalcade being stuck on a flyover near Indo-Pak border for over 20 minutes on January 5.
The Apex Court bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana appointed former Supreme Court Judge Indu Malhotra as the chairperson of the committee, along with her the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), DGP of Chandigarh, ADGP (security) of Punjab Police and Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will be part of the investigation.
The court observed that both the Centre and Punjab government blamed each other of bias. The Centre even summoned Punjab Police Officials for an explanation. To ensure that the enquiry is conducted sincerely and without any bias, the top court had decided to constitute a committee to investigate the matter.
“A Judicial trained and independent mind duly assisted by officers well-acquainted with the security considerations and the Registrar-General of the High Court, will be best suited to look into all the issues and submit a confidential report for the consideration of this court.”Chief Justice NV Ramana
The bench has ordered the committee to submit the confidential report at the earliest