Breaking: Supreme Court Directs Registrar Of Punjab & Haryana HC To Secure Records Relating To Breach Of PM's Security In Punjab
Lawyer's Voice had filed a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court to take cognizance of PM's security lapse in Punjab on 5th January. The matter will now be heard on Monday.
The Supreme Court has directed the Registrar General of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to secure all the records relating to Prime Minister's security breach and keep them in safe custody. The Bench of Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli also directed the State of Punjab including police authorities and other Central and State agencies to cooperate and provide the entire record immediately to the Registrar. The Court has directed the Director-General of Police of Chandigarh and the NIA to assist the Registrar General in the process.
The Court has also ordered that the Committees appointed by both the Centre as well as the State government will not proceed with their inquiry till Monday. The matter will now be heard on Monday.
Lawyer's Voice on Thursday had filed a Writ Petition before the Supreme Court seeking to take cognizance of the Prime Minister's security lapse that took place in Punjab on 5th January 2022. The PM was on his way to pay his tribute at National Martyrs Memorial, Hussainiwala, and attend other programs including laying of the foundation stone of various developmental projects in Punjab.
Senior Advocate Mr. Maninder Singh appeared for the Petitioner while Solicitor General Mr. Tushar Mehta appeared for the Central Government and Advocate General of Punjab Mr. D.S Patwalia appeared for the State of Punjab.
Arguments of the Petitioner:-
It was argued by the Petitioner that the issue is not just a law and order issue but an issue under the Special Protection Group Act. Further, Mr. Singh contended that under this act it is not an issue of law and order but is a national security issue. The blocking of the PM's cavalcade for 15 - 20 minutes is a very serious issue.
Further, it was argued that the documents pertaining to the bandobast must be taken into custody and the District Judge which the Court would assign must be aided by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Arguments on behalf of the Central Government -
The SG argued that the incident could cause international embarrassment as a serious mishap could have happened. Furthermore, Mr. Mehta pleaded that this could be a subject of cross-border terrorism.
Arguments on behalf of the State of Punjab -
It was argued by the AG that the State is not taking this issue lightly, there has been a lapse somewhere, and State is doing everything to look into it and a Committee has already been constituted and an FIR was also lodged. The AG further quoted the CM's statement and said, "The PM is his PM too, we want it to be investigated. Whatever the court thinks fit may be done."
The Petitioner, Lawyer's Voice claims to be an organization espousing public causes, the cause of lawyers in the country, seeking to highlight grave issues of national public importance.
The Organization had contended before the Apex Court that the security lapse 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.
Further, the Petitioner had argued that as per settled procedure, the program and the security arrangements for the Prime Minister were already shared with the local State Governments prior to the visit and even joint discussions were conducted prior to the visit in order to ensure the high level of security required to be maintained.
It was further contended that as per the reports, neither the chief secretary nor the DG or their representatives joined the motorcade during the movement of the Prime Minister which is considered to be a protocol to ensure that the route of the PM is secured from all the angels.
Additionally, the Petitioner had pleaded that the local administration took part in the blockage and the security lapse.
The Petitioner had prayed before the SC that it must take cognizance of the matter and ensure 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 pre-meditated, pre-planned conspiracy to breach the security of the Prime Minister and bring national security in jeopardy.
It was further highlighted in the Writ Petition that the said incident raises an important question that, if the Prime Minister of the country can face such a situation, then the fundamental rights of citizens which have been guaranteed to them under Article 19(1))(d), 19(1))(g), and 21 of the Constitution of India, are in serious jeopardy in the State of Punjab and beyond.