Supreme Court To Constitute A Committee Headed By Ex-SC Judge To Inquire Into PM's Security Breach
The Supreme Court Bench comprising of Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli today heard PIL regarding the breach of Prime Minister's Security and have agreed to set up a high-level committee which would be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge and comprising of DGP Chandigarh, IG of National Investigation Agency and Registrar General and ADGP (Security) of Punjab.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate D. S. Patwalia, Advocate General of Punjab pointed out that the state's officers have received show-cause notices asking why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them, without any inquiry being held and without hearing them. It was urged by the Advocate General that he has apprehensions about not getting a fair hearing from the Central Government so the court may appoint an Independent Committee. D. S. Patwalia submitted that, "Don't condemn us unheard. If my officers are wrong, hang them. But only after a fair enquiry"
The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pointed out that show-cause notices were issued before the oral direction of the Court. The Solicitor General also pointed out certain provisions from the bluebook, which outlines the protocol to be followed for the security of the Prime Minister, saying that these are to be understood to properly analyze the situation.
The Bench expressed displeasure about the way the Central Government committee issued show-cause notices to the officials of the Punjab Government.
Justice Surya Kant asked the Solicitor General, "Your show cause notice is totally self-contradictory. By constituting a committee you seek to enquire if there was a breach and then you hold state Chief Secretary and DG guilty. Who held them guilty?"
Justice Surya Kant added, "The state and the petitioner wants a fair hearing and you cannot be against a fair hearing. So why this administrative and fact-finding enquiry by you?"
The Solicitor General replied that the proceedings on the show cause notice can be put on hold until the Central Committee, after examining all the issues, submits a report before the Court.
The Bench then decided to constitute a high-level independent committee that would be headed by a retired Supreme Court Justice.
The Court is hearing a PIL filed by 'Lawyers' Voice', which has urged the Apex Court to look into the serious lapse that has happened in the security detail of the Prime Minister while he was going to Ferozepur in Punjab. On Friday, the Court had directed the Registrar of Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure records relating to the breach of security.