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PM convoy security breach: Supreme Court directs travel records be preserved

The court said a senior officer of the National Investigation Agency should also be in the investigation team. The court said it will hear the matter on Monday.

The Supreme Court on Friday directed the Punjab and Haryana High Court‘s registrar general to secure and preserve all records in connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab earlier this week, and also asked the Centre, state’s committees to refrain from conducting inquiries till Monday.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India Justice N.V. Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli directed the High Court Registrar General to take the cooperation of the Director-General of Police, Chandigarh. The court said a senior officer of the National Investigation Agency should also be in the investigation team. The court said it will hear the matter on Monday.

The court has directed the Punjab Police and officers, Special Protection Group, and other agencies to cooperate and provide necessary assistance to seal the entire record.

The top court heard the plea filed by NGO Lawyers Voice over the alleged security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Punjab visit demanding action against those responsible for the security lapse and appropriate directions to the Punjab government to prevent the recurrence of such an incident in the future.

On behalf of the Punjab government, Senior Advocate D.S. Patwalia said:

“We have issued notices to several officers for investigation in this matter and called them for investigation. Action will be taken against whoever is found guilty in this case.”

-He said the court can also appoint any judge for the investigation if it wants.

The Punjab government told the court that they are not tampering with any evidence related to the incident, nor were they doing any politics.

Also Read: PM convoy security breach: Supreme Court hearing tomorrow, Punjab probe panel to submit its report within 3 days

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the lapse in the security of the PM, in which both the state government and the police administration were responsible, cannot be investigated by the state government. It is mandatory for NIA officers to be involved in the investigation of the case. Solicitor General said the policemen were having tea with the protesters.

SG said that this is the rarest of the rare case and is very serious. It could be a case of cross-border terrorism. Therefore, it should be treated on that basis, he said.

He said it is necessary to have an officer of NIA in the investigation as the judicial officer will not be fully competent in this matter. For this, it is necessary for a professional officer of the NIA to be in the investigation.

The SG said the committee constituted by the Punjab government has a secretary who can come under the pressure of the government.

Also Read: NEET PG counselling: Supreme Court allows counselling with existing OBC, EWS quotas

Maninder Singh, the counsel for the petitioner, questioned the SG Mehta about the involvement of the Punjab Home Secretary in the investigation of the case, said that Punjab Home Secretary himself is under investigation and suspicion, how can he be part of the investigation team?

Singh said the evidence should be kept safe first. For this, the District Judge of Bathinda and the NIA officers together should secure the evidence in this case. Second, the Supreme Court itself should monitor this matter.

On Wednesday, PM Modi’s cavalcade was stuck on a flyover in Punjab for nearly 20 minutes due to protesting farmers blocking the flyover. Private cars were also seen approaching the cavalcade.

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