Updated: January 6, 2022 4:28:12 pm
The Supreme Court will Friday hear a petition urging it to take cognizance of the breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security in Punjab on Wednesday, securing of documents related to the police bandobast provided to the PM, and seeking suspension of the state Chief Secretary and Director General of Police for the lapse.
“It is requested that this Hon’ble Court take cognizance of the matter, ensures that the official records are not tampered with and presented before this Hon’ble Court at the earliest and initiates proceedings against the erring officials and other persons responsible for breaching the security of the Prime Minister as a part of a premeditated, pre-planned conspiracy to breach the security of the Prime Minister and bring national security in jeopardy,” said the plea by Lawyer’s Voice, a Delhi-based rights body.
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana. “It has to be ensured that it is not repeated. This writ petition has to be taken up,” he said.
The CJI then sought to know what the court could do in the matter.
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“We don’t want this kind of incident repeated. There should be an inquiry into the bandobast under court monitoring,” said the counsel.
The CJI then asked him to serve a copy of the plea to the Punjab government counsel and added that it will take up the matter Friday.
Citing media reports, the plea alleged that the security breach “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”.
It said that “as per settled procedure, the programme and the security arrangements for the Prime Minister are already shared with the local State Governments prior to the visit and even joint discussions are conducted prior to the visit in order to ensure the high level of security… there is a specific emphasis that the route for the Prime Minister is secured from all angles. It is generally the practice that route survey/profiling, identification of choke points and vulnerable areas prone to sabotage are to be secured with strong police deployment.”
The petition referred to reports that claimed that while as per protocol, the car for the Chief Secretary and DGP or their nominees of the visiting state is earmarked and supposed to join the motorcade, neither chief secretary representative nor DG/representative joined the motorcade during the movement of the PM.
“It is clear from the events that private persons were given access to the Prime Minister’s route, and other persons were instigated to join the blockade, which represents a serious and unpardonable breach of national security by the State apparatus and the political establishment of the State,” the plea said.
The petition added that according to reports, while the Chief Secretary of Punjab and DGP gave assurances to SPG that the route was clear, that was not the case.
“It is submitted that the lapse in the security of the Prime Minister was occasioned clearly in connivance with the Punjab Police. It was only the Punjab Government that knew the precise route of the Prime Minister which is never shared due to high security reasons,” the plea alleged.
It urged the court to direct the District Judge, Bhatinda “to collect, preserve and present all material pertaining to the movement and deployment of Punjab police in connection with the visit of the prime minister, fix responsibility of the DGP and the Chief Secretary, State of Punjab and place them under suspension and direct Union of India to initiate departmental action against the same.”
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