Ex-SC judge to head panel to probe security lapse during PM's visit to Punjab, rules top court

Updated on Jan 10, 2022 12:43 PM IST

The Supreme Court will name the retired judge and other officers in its order to be released later today.

On January 5, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from poll-bound Punjab without attending the planned events, including a rally. (ANI)
On January 5, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from poll-bound Punjab without attending the planned events, including a rally. (ANI)

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to set up a panel to probe the alleged breach of security during Prime Minister's Punjab visit last week. A former SC judge will head the panel, according to the top court's order. It will also include the DGP Chandigarh, National Investigation Agency (NIA) IG, Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana high courts. 

The Supreme Court will name the retired judge and other officers in its order to be released later today.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana, and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, were hearing a petition against the incident in Ferozepur on January 5 filed by an organisation named 'Lawyers Voice'.

During the hearing, the court asserted that there was "a breach and the Punjab government has admitted as well". "The question is if an inquiry is held, what will be its scope. If you want to take disciplinary action against officers what remains for this court to look into?" it said.

The court also told the central government that the show cause notice issued by it to Punjab officials "is self-contradictory". "By constituting a committee, the Centre seeks to enquire if there was a breach of Special Protection Group (SPG) Act and then it holds Punjab Chief Secretary and Director General guilty," it added.

The court further asked both central and Punjab governments not to go ahead with their inquiries in the matter.

On January 5, PM Modi was scheduled to visit Ferozepur district; however, the trip was cut short and his address had to be cancelled after his cavalcade was stopped on a flyover due to farmers' protest. Many leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have slammed the Punjab government, alleging that details of PM Modi's route were shared with unauthorised persons, which led to a blockade of the road by protesters.

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