NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday constituted a committee headed by former apex court judge Indu Malhotra to probe into the alleged security lapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab.
Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, while hearing the plea of NGO Lawyers Voice, said that it wanted to conduct a high-level inquiry headed by a former High Court judge.
The bench said that the sensitive matter relating to the security lapse of the Prime Minister could not be left for unilateral investigation by the Central or state governments. A person trained in the judicial field should investigate the matter.
The apex court panel, headed by Justice Malhotra, would include the DG of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or an official of his designate authority, the DGP of the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the DGP of Punjab, besides the Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High Court.
During the hearing, Chief Justice Ramana requested the Justice Malhotra committee to submit its inquiry report at the earliest. The top court has ordered the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to produce all details and documents gathered on the orders of the Supreme Court before the inquiry committee.
The court made it clear that the stay on the proceedings of the inquiry committees constituted by the Central and Punjab governments would continue. On Monday, while hearing a petition filed by NGO Lawyers Voice, it was decided to constitute a high-level inquiry committee headed by a former judge of the apex court. The bench took this decision after hearing the arguments of the petitioner, the central government and the Punjab government.
The petition has sought an efficient and professional inquiry into the entire episode to avoid the recurrence of lapses in the Prime Minister’s security in the future. The petition had urged the apex court to direct the Bathinda district judge to take possession of the entire record related to the security breach.