PM security breach: SC directs Punjab HC registrar general to preserve all records
New Delhi, January 7, 2022
The Supreme Court on Friday directed the registrar general of Punjab and Haryana High Court to secure and preserve all records in connection with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Punjab, and also asked the state and Central committees to refrain from conducting inquiries till Monday, when it will take up the matter again.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N. V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said: "We direct Punjab, police authorities, SPG, central and state agencies to cooperate and provide necessary assistance to seal the entire record."
The bench added that the registrar general of Punjab and Haryana High Court will secure and preserve all records in connection with Modi's visit to Punjab.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, submitted that some NIA officer should assist the court's officer in collecting and securing the evidence, which includes wireless messages in connection with PM's movement in the state. Mehta added that the court officer may find it difficult to pin down on sources, from which information is required. Mehta termed the incident "rarest of the rare issue".
The Supreme Court agreed to examine a plea raising the issue of alleged breach of security to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab. Senior advocate Maninder Singh mentioned the plea in the top court. The plea filed by Delhi-based Lawyer's Voice alleged the state government and the police were complicit in jeopardising the security of the holder of the high constitutional office in the country.
"The security lapse, as per reliable reports in the print and the electronic media, and as per the Press Information Bureau report of Central government, 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," said the plea.
The plea sought an independent probe into the alleged security breach in Punjab.
The plea sought a direction to the District Judge, Bathinda to collect, preserve and present all material pertaining to the movement and deployment of Punjab Police in connection with the visit of the Prime Minister, fix responsibility of the DGP and the Chief Secretary, Punjab.
The petition claimed it sought to highlight the said incident and raise an important question as, 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, are in serious jeopardy in Punjab and beyond.