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PM Security breach: Ferozpur SSP failed to discharge his duty, observes SC-led panel

It had also stayed inquiries ordered by the Central government and the State of Punjab.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the five-member committee appointed by it has said that Ferozepur SSP failed to discharge his duty though the sufficient forces were available during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Punjab visit on January 5.

A bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said while reading from the committee’s report that the committee headed by a former top court judge, Justice Indu Malhotra, said there should be an oversight committee for periodic revision of ‘Blue Book’. “The Ferozepur SSP failed to discharge his duty to maintain law and order. He failed to do this even though sufficient force was available and even though he was informed two hours in advance that Prime Minister will enter that route,” it said.

The apex court said it will send the report of the five-member committee to the Centre for appropriate action.

There are remedial measures and safeguards needed for the Prime Minister’s security, said the bench while reading the committee’s report.

The Supreme Court had earlier set up a five-member Committee headed by a retired top court judge, Justice Indu Malhotra to probe into the security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Punjab visit.

The bench, while setting up the independent Committee, had said such an issue relating to breach of security of Prime Minister cannot be decided by “one-sided inquiry” of Centre or the State government and it has to be by a “judicially trained mind”.

The other members of the committee were the Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) or his nominee not below the rank of Inspector General of Police, Director General of Police (DGP) Union Territory of Chandigarh, Additional DGP of Punjab (Security) and Registrar General of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The bench had said the committee will inquire into the causes of the security breach, persons responsible for the breach and the future measures to be taken for preventing such security breaches of VVIPs.

Narendra Modi

It had also asked the member and coordinator of the Committee, Registrar General of High Court, to submit all records and documents collected by him on orders of the apex court to the inquiry panel.

It had also stayed inquiries ordered by the Central government and the State of Punjab.

The top court’s order had come on a PIL seeking a judicial probe into the breach of the Prime Minister’s security while on a visit to Punjab.

The plea in the top court was filed by Lawyers’ Voice alleged that the PM’s security breach was a deliberate lapse on part of the State and sought the preservation of evidence on security arrangements and action against “erring” officials of the Punjab government.

The Prime Minister was stuck atop a flyover for 15-20 minutes while on his way to Ferozpur, Punjab in January 2022 due to the road being blocked by some protesters. The Ministry of Home Affairs termed it as a “major lapse” in his security.