Security Lapse During PM Modi's Punjab Visit: Retd SC Judge To Probe

SC is hearing a plea seeking an independent court-monitored probe on the security lapse during PM Modi's Jan 5 Punjab visit.

The Supreme Court on Monday constituted a committee led by a retired top court judge to probe the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent January 5th visit to Punjab. The final composition of the committee will be revealed in a detailed order to follow.

In the interim, the Supreme Court directed the Centre and the state of Punjab to "hold their horses" and reiterated its order of the halt on all proceedings initiated by the committees set up by the respective governments.

Also Read: SC To Hear Plea on Security Lapse During PM Modi's Punjab Visit

Show cause notice to Punjab officials already declare them guilty: SC to Centre

The top court bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana expressed its displeasure with the Centre over seven show-cause notices as part of its fact-finding inquiry sent to Punjab government officials on the issue of the security lapse during PM Modi's visit in Punjab.

"Where has this show cause notice come (from) when proceedings were halted? I will not get justice from the Central government committee," D Patwalia, Punjab's Advocate General, argued. The show-cause notices have been sent without any hearing, Patwalia said reiterating the need for a court-monitored independent probe since it was unlikely that the officials would get "a fair hearing".

The show-cause notices appear to have a presumption of guilt, so then why are you coming to us, Justice Hima Kohli who was one of the three judges on the bench said. "By issuing the show cause notice you show that you have decided how will you go ahead. So why should this Court go into the matter at all?" she added.

"Your show cause notice is totally self-contradictory. By constituting the Committee, you seek to enquire if there was a breach of SPG Act and then you hold state Chief Secretary (CS) and Director General of Police (DG) guilty. Who held them guilty?" Justice Surya Kant, the third judge on the bench said.

To this, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who was representing the Centre, said the show cause notices were sent in accordance with established procedures in event of such a security lapse.

"There is no discrepancy that there was a security breach," Mehta said. he added that the procedures as outlined in the Blue Book, a book that outlines the procedure to be followed during a VVIP visit, were not followed. Furthermore, Mehta said that the state officials failed in their task to inform the head of security for the PM's convoy about a crowd gathering near the flyover, which tantamount to a "complete intelligence failure".

"The very 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," Mehta said.

Also Read: Security Breach During PM Modi's Punjab Visit: BJP, Congress Spar


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