PM Modi Security Lapse- Supreme Court To Form Probe Panel Headed By Retired Judge: Highlights

PM Modi'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 the planned events, including a rally.

PM Modi Security Lapse- Supreme Court To Form Probe Panel Headed By Retired Judge: Highlights

PM Modi's Security Breach: A report has been demanded from intelligence agencies over the security lapse.

New Delhi:

Supreme Court agrees to constitute high-level committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge to investigate lapses in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's security in Punjab.

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 the planned events, including a rally.

A three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli was hearing the plea filed by an organisation, Lawyers Voice.

The top court on Friday had directed the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to "secure and preserve" the records pertaining to arrangements made for the prime minister's visit to Punjab when there was a "massive security breach".

It had also said the inquiry committees set up separately by the state and central governments will hold their horses and not proceed with their respective inquiries till January 10 when the matter will be taken up again by the court. The bench, however, did not dictate it as part of the order, and had asked the counsels to convey its feelings to the authorities.

Here are the Highlights on PM Modi's Security Breach:

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Jan 10, 2022 12:21 (IST)
Supreme Court agrees to constitute high-level committee headed by retired Supreme Court judge to investigate security lapses. The Top court asks both Centre and Punjab Government to put a hold on their respective panels.

Supreme Court to issue detailed orders soon
Jan 10, 2022 12:15 (IST)
Just In| PM security breach: Supreme Court to form probe panel headed by retired judge

Jan 10, 2022 12:10 (IST)
CJI NV Ramana: We are thinking along these lines: A former SC judge will head this committee. Members of committee -  DGP Chandigarh, IG NIA and Registrar General and Additional DG Intelligence Bureau. 

SG Tushar Mehta: IG Intelligence might himself be subject matter of scrutiny. Under the blue book he is. 

CJI NV Ramana: We will see 

Justice Surya Kant: Who will be officers concerned, intelligence or security? 

Punjab: ADGP security would be the authority, he wasn't associated with incident but will be overall responsible. 

Punjab: Pending the inquiry, the show causes notices be please put on hold. 

Supreme Court: You also hold it then
Jan 10, 2022 11:50 (IST)
CJI NV Ramana: If the main issue of putting the blame on someone is over...then what do we do? 

SG Tushar Mehta: This is a case of PM Security, the Central govt officers should be allowed to examine the issue.

CJI NV Ramana: Please don't be under the impression that we are not taking this seriously. This is about the PM's security.
Jan 10, 2022 11:46 (IST)
CJI NV Ramana: If you want to take disciplinary action against the state officers then what remains for this court to do 

SG Tushar Mehta: This cannot be decided by the state.  Let the committee members comprising of Cabinet Sect, DG, SPG etc look into this and report in 3 weeks.
Jan 10, 2022 11:45 (IST)
Justice Surya Kant: The DG and CS is party before us and we will come to know who is responsible for the lapse. The state and petitioner wants a fair hearing and you cannot be against a fair hearing. So why this administrative and fact finding enquiry by you at all?

SG Tushar Mehta: The foundation of the show cause notices is the blue book which says that the responsibility was of the police officials, no pre warning abt the blockade... DG was supposed to follow rules. There is no dispute about the rules.
Justice Surya Kant: There was a breach and that is a serious issue. But rest are issues of facts that need to be examined...who was responsible.

Justice Kohli: When you issued the notice it was before our order and after that we passed our order. you asking them to reply in 24 hours is not expected of you SG.... Expected of you... may be a little harsh...
Jan 10, 2022 11:43 (IST)
Justice Hima Kohli to SG Tushar Mehta: But if you are already presuming everything in the show cause notices and issuing them then what is the point of coming to this court?

Justice Surya Kant: Your show cause notice is totally self contradictory. by constituting committee you seek to enquire if there was a breach of SPG act and then you hold state CS and DG guilty. who held them guilty? Who has heard them?
Jan 10, 2022 11:37 (IST)
SG Tushar Mehta: There was complete intelligence failure

SG Tushar Mehta: Punjab Police DG was supposed to give clear communication to the PM's convoy

SG Tushar Mehta: There has been a clear violation of the SPG Act. The police officials are responsible. Its very serious that the state is defending them. Central committer had to be formed
Jan 10, 2022 11:33 (IST)
SG Tushar Mehta reads out the rules:

Rule 9....Whenever the Prime Minister visits any place, large crowds collect to see or to hear him. Under Section 31 of the Indian Police Act, it is the duty of the police to maintain order whenever there is an assembly, irrespective of the purpose for which the assembly takes place, and keep public roads and thoroughfares open. The maintenance of order is essential to allow people to fulfill their desire of seeing and hearing the Prime Minister without confusion or inconvenience to themselves. Order is also necessary to neutralize criminals who frequent places where people congregate. Crowds have to be properly controlled by a judicious deployment of police and by erecting barricades at road crossings and other congested parts of the route. This would prevent a stampede, which may cause serious damage to life and property. Moreover, the carriageway should be kept free as crowds may encroach on the roads and cause obstructions. There are the normal duties of the police, which must be carried out on all occasions, and it is not the intention of these rules to interfere with the discretion of the police in this regard in anyway.

SG Tushar Mehta: There were no IB inputs from the Punjab police which is their responsibility.

SG Tushar Mehta: There was no intimation to the convoy that there was a gathering of a group of protesters
Jan 10, 2022 11:30 (IST)
CJI NV Ramana: We got a compliance report at 10 am today

Maninder Singh for petitioners: You can take it up later then when you have gone through the report

SG Tushar Mehta: That was only for collection of evidence

CJI NV Ramana to Punjab Government: Why have all pictures not been put in the report?

DS Patwalia for Punjab: The petitioner had raised questions on our Committee but we will also not get a fair hearing before a central agency. 7 show cause notices have been issued to the SSP as to why action should not be taken against him. No opportunity given for hearing. I will not get justice from Central Govt committee

DS Patwalia for Punjab: Need for independent probe

CJI NV Ramana: Read show cause notice

DS Patwalia for Punjab: show cause notice to the state chief secretary... where it says there it appears prima facie violation of responsibilities bestowed under the SPG Act and not ensuring smooth VVIP travel. show cause notice premediates and assumes everything against us. 24 hrs given for reply... i dont expect a fair hearing at all. there needs to be an independent probe.

SG Tushar Mehta: these notices were issued before your order. Punjab is relying on show cause notice to Chief Sect. There are misconceptions by State Govt.

SG Tushar Mehta: SPG remains around the protectee. Please see the definition of proximate security under SPG means protection from close quarters while on travel.. SPG is there for proximate security. Now what is the role of the state/UT police. There is a blue book which is followed for the procedure
Jan 10, 2022 11:30 (IST)
Bench of CJI NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli is hearing the plea.