The High Court of Punjab and Haryana has directed the State of Punjab to take note of the apprehensions made by Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu regarding his security and pass an order within one month in this connection.
The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Raj Mohan Singh on Friday passed the orders on writ petition filed by Sidhu, seeking direction to the state government to restore his Z+ security, which was allegedly reduced to Y+ without any notice.
Noting that the issue of providing security cover cannot be treated as a static one, the High Court granted liberty to Sidhu to provide his inputs regarding the threats he received from the gang of Lawrence Bishnoi, which had also allegedly murdered singer Sidhu Moose Wala.
However, the Bench noted that the provision was subject to final assessment to be made by the competent authority on the basis of further inputs to be received from the concerned quarter and after analysing the inputs provided by the petitioner in the pleadings made in para Nos. 9 and 11, in accordance with law.
It observed that de-categorisation of security, sometimes, may prompt the inimical anti-social elements to take drastic steps.
The Court called it a case of slashing down Z+ security to Y+, which as per Yellow Book, had the provision of 11 security personnels to guard the person and place of the individual.
It further noted that both the State and Central Agencies, along with the report of assessment done by the competent authority, did not take in view the two pleadings made by Sidhu regarding the security risk.
The threat to life received from the gang of Lawrence Bishnoi, along with the fact that when summons were received from the Bihar Court, Sidhu could not be taken due to the risk involved in leaving Z+ security, should have been taken in consideration, said the court.
It further observed that the issue of security was a State subject and the court interference should be minimal.
Senior Advocate Manjit Singh Khaira and Advocate Hanima Grewal appeared for the petitioner. The respondent was represented by Additional Attorney General of Punjab, Gaurav Garg Dhuriwala.
(Case title: Navjot Singh Sidhu vs State of Punjab and others)