The Supreme Court tomorrow will hear a plea seeking a judicial probe in the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's January 5 Punjab visit. Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the matter before Chief Justice of India NV Ramana seeking an urgent listing of the plea filed by Lawyer's Voice, an NGO.
"It has to be ensured it is not repeated. A professional and effective investigation is needed into bandobast. Given the atmosphere today, it would be appropriate under your monitoring for District judge of Bhatinda to take into custody entire records," Singh said while arguing his case.
On January 5, the Centre alleged a major security lapse after Modi's cavalcade was stuck on a flyover for over 15 minutes en route to the National Martyrs Memorial at Hussainiwala.
The plea urged the top court to take cognizance of the matter to ensure that the official records are not tampered with. It further sought directions to initiate proceedings against the erring officials and other persons responsible for breaching the security of the Prime Minister as a part of a pre-meditated, pre-planned conspiracy to breach the security of the Prime Minister and bring national security in jeopardy.
"It is clear from the events that private persons were given access to the Prime Minister's route, and other persons were instigated to join the blockade, which represents a serious and unpardonable breach of national security by the State apparatus and the political establishment of the State," the plea said.
Security lapse during PM Modi's visit in connivance with state
The NGO, Lawyer's Voice alleged that the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit was clearly in "connivance with the Punjab Police". Only the Punjab government knew the "precise route" to be taken by the Prime Minister's convoy, and the details are "never shared due to high-security reasons".
"It has been reported that this may have been the single biggest lapse in security of any Indian Prime Minister in recent years," the plea said.
The plea added that the state government is responsible for the overall safety of the Prime Minister and the responsibility for providing proximate security will rest with the Special Protection Group (SPG) as per the SPG Act 1988.
"On the contrary, what was shocking and alarming on many levels was that local Police personnel on the spot were seen to be participating with the hooligans who jeopardised the security of the Prime Minister," the plea further added.
"The incident could have had grave security implications for the personal safety of the Prime Minister," the plea said.
"The situation wherein a high constitutional functionary is stranded on a flyover is an extremely high-security threat considering the vulnerability and the degree of planning and protection required for the office of the Prime Minister. It is in fact reported that the local administration took part in the blockage and the security lapse," the plea alleged.
"It has been reported that while Chief Secretary, State of Punjab and Director General of Police gave assurances to Special Protection Group, that the route is clear, it was found that the same was not true resulting in a precarious situation," it added.