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Updated on: Friday, January 07, 2022, 11:18 PM IST

FPJ Legal | PM Modi's security breach: SC orders registrar general of Punjab and Haryana HC to secure, preserve travel records

Supreme Court | PTI

Supreme Court | PTI

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The Supreme Court on Friday directed the registrar general of Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve all records in connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab.

It also asked the state and Central committees to refrain from conducting inquiries till Monday, when it will take up the matter again.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also directed officers of the Punjab Police and the Special Protection Group (SPG) as well as other Central and State agencies to cooperate and provide necessary assistance to the Registrar General.

The Bench further appointed the Director General of Police, Chandigarh, and an officer from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as nodal officers to coordinate with the Registrar General.

The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to examine a plea raising the issue of alleged breach of security. Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the plea in the top court which alleges that the state government and the police were complicit in jeopardising the security of the prime minister.

"The security lapse, as per reliable reports in the print and the electronic media, and as per the Press Information Bureau report of Central government, was clearly intentional and raises a serious question as to national security and the role played by the present political dispensation in the State of Punjab", said the plea.

The petition claimed it sought to highlight the said incident and raise an important question because if the Prime Minister of the country can face such a situation, then the fundamental rights of citizens which has been guaranteed to them under Article 19(1) (d), 19(1) (g), and 21 of the Constitution, are in serious jeopardy in Punjab and beyond.

Appearing for the Central government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted, "Whenever the cavalcade of PM travels on road, the DG of State inspects the road to see if PM can travel. Here, DG has given a green signal. There is also a warning car ahead of PM's car so that in case there is a threat perception, the cavalcade can be stopped. Here, local SP can be seen sipping tea with protesters and warning car was not informed."

He further claimed that protests by a certain organisation amounted to cross-border terrorism, prompting the need for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to get involved.

"Another organisation Sikhs for Justice had called for people to do XY thing and this can be an issue of cross-border terrorism. This matter cannot be left to just anyone and thus let it be with a district judge and with NIA official."

He concluded, "This is a sui generis case of the international embarrassment of the Prime Minister of the country. Please call for details and keep it in a sealed cover. Signal must go from the highest court in the country so that this cannot continue."

Advocate General for Punjab D S Patwalia argued that the State was not taking the security lapse lightly. He said that the probe committee was constituted on the same day as the incident and was not an afterthought. An FIR has been lodged in the matter, Patwalia informed the court.

"We are not joining issues. Our CM has said that Mr Modi is our Prime Minister. Even though the petition reeks of politics, we are not against it," the AG said. – Input Bar and Bench.

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Published on: Friday, January 07, 2022, 11:18 PM IST
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