Supreme Court orders probe into PM security breach by panel led by a former SC judge

The order comes from a Bench led by CJI NV Ramana after Punjab Advocate General DS Patwalia says state will not get a fair hearing in any probe carried out by the Centre

Supreme Court orders probe into PM security breach by panel led by a former SC judge

Photo for representation purposes. PTI

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered setting up a high-level committee headed by a former judge of the top court to probe into the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab last week.

A three-judge Bench led by CJI NV Ramana ordered the inquiry committees of the Centre and the Punjab Government to halt their respective probes into the January 5 security lapse.

"We are taking the PM's security breach very seriously," said the Bench - which also included Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli.

The committee led by a retired Supreme Court judge will include Chandigarh Police chief, IG National Investigation Agency, Punjab and Haryana High Court Registrar General and ADGP (security) of Punjab, the top court said, adding a detailed order would be passed in this regard later on Monday.

The inquiry committee had to submit its report to the top court within the shortest possible time, it said.

Once the committee submits its report, the top court would pass orders for action to be taken by the Centre and the Punjab Government.

The order came after the Punjab Government demanded an independent probe into the breach in the Prime Minister's security, saying the state would not get a fair hearing in any probe carried out by the Centre.

During hearing on a petition filed by 'Lawyer's Voice' seeking a thorough probe into the security lapse, Punjab Advocate General DS Patwalia took strong exception to seven showcause notices issued to the SSP concerned, chief secretary and senior officials of the state asking them to explain why action should not be taken against them.

"No opportunity of hearing has been given to me... where has this showcause notice come from when proceedings were halted by the court. I will not get justice from the central government committee," Patwalia told the top court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta clarified to the Bench that the showcause notices were issued before the court's order.

"If you have already made up your mind, then what's the need for having an inquiry...There's a lapse and it has to be found out who are responsible for it," the Bench said.

"Your showcause notice is totally self-contradictory. By constituting the committee, you seek to inquire if there is a breach of the SPG AC and then you hold the state Chief Secretary and the DGP guilty...Who held them guilty?" it wondered.

The Solicitor General said these were only showcause notices and not findings. He said it's an admitted case of security lapse and the PM was exposed.

Mehta said someone from the Cabinet Secretariat, DG, SPG and Intelligence Bureau officials should be there in the committee.

Noting that it was an issue of the security of the Prime Minister, Mehta said it could be examined by the senior officials of the Central Government. The report can be placed before the Bench and then "Your Lordships can take an appropriate decision," Mehta said.

He said the committee of the Central Government can examine it and submit the report to the court and in the meantime no action will be taken against any officials.

Patwalia objected to it and reiterated his demand for an independent probe, saying the showcause notices issued to state government officials made it clear that the Central committee had already made up its mind.

Finally, the court ordered setting up a committee headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court.

Tribune Shorts


Top News

Himachal rain: Major cloudburst in Kullu’s Parvati valley; landslide in Shimla, 1 dead

Himachal rain: 7 feared dead as cloudburst hits Kullu's Kasol area, 1 dead in Shimla landslide

2 feared dead as car plunges into Beas river on Chandigarh-M...

Supreme Court to hear on Thursday plea of TV anchor against FIRs for doctored Rahul Gandhi video

Supreme Court to hear on Thursday plea of TV anchor against FIRs for doctored Rahul Gandhi video

On Tuesday, a police team from Chhattisgarh reached Uttar Pr...

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to get married tomorrow

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann to get married tomorrow

Mann is getting married to Dr Gurpreet Kaur; it is his secon...

Panchkula school bus slips into waterlogged ditch in Zirakpur; 15 students rescued

Panchkula school bus slips into waterlogged ditch in Zirakpur; 15 students rescued

The bus was making way for another school bus when the accid...

Cities

View All