Ex-SC judge to probe security lapse during PM’s Punjab visit

Ex-SC judge to probe security lapse during PM’s Punjab visit

Ex-SC judge to probe security lapse during PM’s Punjab visit

Judge to be named later today

New Delhi, Jan. 10 (Delhi Crown): The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Centre to appoint a panel to probe last week’s alleged security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.

The apex court issued instructions for the appointment of a former SC judge to head the panel that will include the Director General of Police (Chandigarh), National Investigation Agency (NIA) Inspector General and the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Courts.

The Court is expected to name the retired judge and other officers in its order later today.

Monday’s order was issued by a three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli. They were hearing a petition related to the alleged security breach of the Prime Minister’s cavalcade in Punjab’s Ferozepur district on January 5. The petition was filed by an organisation named the ‘Lawyers Voice’.

The SC has prima facie accepted that there was “a breach” and added that the Punjab government too has admitted to it.

In its order, the apex court said that the probe committee will be tasked with the responsibility of determining the scope of the inquiry and whether disciplinary action is to be taken against the erring officers.

The committee is also expected to determine whether there was a breach of the Special Protection Group (SPG) Act and whether action should be taken against the chief secretary and police chief of Punjab for the same.

The apex court has asked both the Central and Punjab governments not to go ahead with separate or individual inquiries in the matter.

It may be recalled that on January 5, Prime Minister Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur district. However, the trip was cancelled after his cavalcade was stopped on a flyover due to an ongoing farmers’ protest.

The incident escalated into a political and administrative slugfest, with the ruling BJP accusing the Congress government in Punjab of leaking details of the Prime Minister’s route with unauthorised persons, which led to a blockade of the road by protesters.

The Opposition, however, claimed that charges of a security breach lacked merit and were conceived because the BJP could not muster the required number of people to attend a rally to be addressed by Modi at Hussainiwala.

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