PM’s security breach: SC says ex-judge will head inquiry panel

SC said that the panel it will set up will be headed by an ex-SC judge

SC was hearing the plea of an organization, Lawyers Voice, seeking a thorough investigation into the breach in Prime Minister Modi’s security in Punjab

The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the ongoing inquiries by two separate panels of the Centre and the Punjab government into the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Punjab, and said that it will set up an committee headed by a former apex court judge to probe the matter.

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana said that a formal order to this effect will be passed shortly on setting up of the panel, of which the DGP Chandigarh, IG of NIA and the Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana HC may be a part of.

The ruling came after an exchange in the court between the Centre and the state government before the judges.

The top court was hearing the plea of an organisation, Lawyers Voice, seeking a thorough investigation into the breach in Modi’s security in Punjab to ensure there is no such event in future.

Advertisement

On January 5, the Prime Minister’s convoy was stranded on a flyover at Ferozepur due to a blockade by protesting farmers, after which he returned from poll-bound Punjab without attending any event, including a rally.

Also read: Security agencies warned of threat to Modi prior to his Ferozepur rally

As per a report in the Live Law, After Advocate General of Punjab DS Patwalia told the court that the Centre had issued show-cause notices to 7 state officials, including Chief Secretary and the Director-General of Police, for disciplinary action, and that they were given only 24 hours to respond to the notices, the court rapped the Centre, asking the Solicitor General as to what was the point of the court hearing the matter then.

The Solicitor General responded saying the notices were issued before the court issued its order. He then pointed out that there was clear violation of the SPG Act and the Blue Book for the Prime Minister’s security, saying it was the duty of the state officials to clear the protesters along the PM’s route.

And where there is violation of the SPG Act and the Blue Book, there was no scope for detailed hearing or lengthy procedures.

He also pointed out that the state government was defending the senior officials, who were required to be in the court, and termed it “very very serious”.

The court however said that the enquiry by the Centre was “self-contradictory” as the state had admitted to lapses and wanted a fair hearing from the court.

“If you want to take disciplinary action against state officers then what remains for this court to do?” the CJI asked.

(With inputs from Agencies)

CATCH US ON: