SC appoints 5-member panel headed by ex-judge Indu Malhotra to probe PM security breach

The Supreme Court Wednesday appointed an inquiry committee under its former judge Justice Indu Malhotra to probe the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab on January 5.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India said that the committee will also include the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana Court, the Director General of the National Investigation Agency or an officer nominated by him not below the rank of Inspector General, and ADGP (Security) of Punjab Police.

Setting up the panel, the bench also including Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said the matter “cannot be left to one-sided enquiries” and that it must be looked into by a judicially trained mind to submit a comprehensive report for the consideration of the court.

The committee will look into who is responsible for the security breach and suggest what safeguards are necessary for the security of the PM and Constitutional functionaries.

On January 7, the court had directed the Punjab and Haryana HC Registrar General to seize and secure all records regarding the security for the PM’s visit and keep them in safe custody.

On Wednesday, the court asked the High Court Registrar General to hand over all the records to Justice Indu Malhotra. It also asked the inquiry panel to submit its report at the earliest.

The court had on January 10 reserved orders on a plea by Delhi-based ‘Lawyer’s Voice’ which sought a probe into the security breach and action against the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police, Punjab for the security lapse.

Despite the high security accorded to the PM, his convoy had remained stuck on a flyover on the way to Hussainiwala for about 20 minutes on account of protests during his visit to the state on January 5.

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