Ex-judge Indu Malhotra to head SC panel to probe into security breach during PM’s Punjab visit
   Date :13-Jan-2022

Indu Malhotra
THE Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a five-member committee headed by former apex court judge Justice Indu Malhotra to probe the security breach during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Punjab. The “questions cannot be left to one-sided enquiry” and a judicially trained mind needs to oversee the probe, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said while appointing the Justice Malhotra panel. The bench also appointed the Inspector General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Director General of Police of Chandigarh, the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Additional DGP (Security) of Punjab as members to the panel. The apex court directed the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to provide all the seized documents pertaining to the security arrangements made by the Punjab Government for the Prime Minister’s January 5 visit immediately to the panel head.
The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, said the panel will submit its report “at the earliest”. It said the points of reference of the apex court-appointed panel will be to inquire as to who all are responsible for the security breach and to what extent, the remedial measures are necessary. The panel will give suggestions on security of constitutional functionaries ensuring that such incidents do not take place in future. On January 5, Modi’s convoy was stranded on a flyover due to a blockade by protesters in Ferozepur after which he returned from Punjab without attending any event, including a rally.
While reserving the order in the matter on January 10, the apex court had said it would set up a panel headed by its former judge to probe the security breach. It had also stayed the parallel inquiries by committees of the Centre and the State. The top court’s order has come on the plea of an organisation, Lawyers Voice, seeking a thorough investigation into the breach in Modi’s security in Punjab to ensure there is no such incident in the future.