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Legal

Updated on: Monday, January 10, 2022, 11:49 PM IST

FPJ Legal: SC constitutes three-member committee headed by former SC judge to probe PM Modi security lapse

PM Narendra Modi  | Photo Credit: PTI

PM Narendra Modi | Photo Credit: PTI

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The Supreme Court Monday said it will set up a panel headed by its former judge to probe the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Punjab and stayed the parallel inquiries by committees of the Centre and the state government into the lapses. Stressing that the apex court was not “undermining the importance of the security of the prime minister” and dealing it with “all seriousness”, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that the separate inquiries by panels set by the Centre and the state government will be stayed.

The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta about the timeframe within which the court-appointed panel should give the report and said it will keep this aspect in mind. The top court was hearing the plea of an organisation, Lawyers Voice, seeking a thorough investigation into the breach in Modi's security in Punjab to ensure there is no such incident in the future.

On January 5, the prime minister's convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from poll-bound Punjab without attending any event, including a rally. “We are thinking on these lines... One retired Supreme Court judge will head the committee and the members would be DGP (Director General of Police) of Chandigarh, the Inspector General of the NIA (National Investigation Agency), the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and one more person from Punjab...and he can be Additional DGP (Security),” the CJI observed, hinting at the broad parameters of the proposed order which will be passed later.

The top court also took note of the concerns of the Punjab government that its officials are being condemned by the Central government panel without any proceedings and ordered, “All inquiries should stop.”

At the outset, Advocate General and senior advocate DS Patwalia, appearing for the Punjab government, said: “I don't think that I will get a fair hearing because there is some politics behind it also. My fear has come true as seven show cause notices have been sent to the state officials ranging from the chief secretary to the SSP by the Central government's committee saying you are guilty... Please hang me and my officers if we are guilty but please do not condemn us unheard,” the state's law officer said, adding that an independent committee be set up as he apprehended that the state officials will not get fair hearing before the Centre's panel.

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Published on: Monday, January 10, 2022, 11:50 PM IST
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