Tribune News Service
New Delhi, 7 January
Amid controversy over security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab, the Supreme Court today ordered the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve all records related to the visit.
“We direct the Director General of Police, Union Territory of Chandigarh, and an officer of the National Investigation Agency, not below the rank of Inspector General, to be nominated by the Director General, National Investigation Agency, with the assistance of the Registrar General, Punjab Is for. and the Haryana High Court, to immediately secure and confiscate the records from the state police as well as the central agencies,” the bench headed by CJI NV Ramana ordered.
It directed the Punjab government, police officers, SPG and other central and state agencies to extend necessary assistance to the Registrar General in “acquiring and confiscation of records”.
The order came on a plea filed by a lawyer’s voice on Wednesday seeking a thorough probe into the lapses in the security of the PM.
The division bench, which also included Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hema Kohli, said no to the committees constituted by the Center and Punjab. For the time being to go ahead with their respective inquiries and posted the matter for hearing on Monday. “We are not adding this to our order but ask both the committees to conduct their operations by Monday,” the CJI said.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta clarified that the Centre’s committee was not meant to penalize any Punjab official and it was only to find out why and how the security lapse happened.
As Mehta described it as a matter of grave concern that caused international embarrassment, Punjab Advocate General DS Patwalia said that there was certainly a lapse but the Center and state committees should keep their horses by Monday. “Modi is our prime minister and though this petition is related to politics, we are not against it,” he said.
Earlier, senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the petitioners, demanded that the state committee be stayed. Referring to the statements of Sikhs for Justice, he said that it could be an issue of cross-border terrorism.
The petitioners wanted the court to pass orders fixing the responsibility of the Chief Secretary of Punjab and the Director General of Police of the state and suspending them; And instruct the Center to initiate departmental action against them.