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Lawyers Voice v. State of Punjab

Special Protection Group Act, 1988 – Security Breach – What should be the remedial measures or safeguards necessary for the security of the Hon’ble Prime Minister or other Protectees ?

The Union of India and State Government are directed to provide full assistance to the Enquiry Committee for completion of the assigned task. The Chairperson of the Enquiry Committee shall be entitled to all the perks of a sitting Supreme Court Judge minus pension. They shall be provided full secretarial assistance, official car and other paraphernalia for effective completion of the enquiry, as directed above. Till conclusion of the proceedings of the Enquiry Committee constituted above, the enquiries ordered by the Central Government and the State Government shall be kept in abeyance.

Terms of Reference for the Enquiry Committee:

i. What were the causes for the security breach for the incident on 5th January 2022?

ii. Who are responsible for such a breach, and to what extent?

iii. What should be the remedial measures or safeguards necessary for the security of the Hon’ble Prime Minister or other Protectees ?

iv. Any suggestions or recommendations for improving the safety and security of other Constitutional functionaries.

v. Any other incidental issue that the Committee may deem fit and proper.

Enquiry Committee

i. Justice Indu Malhotra, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India­ Chairperson;

ii. Director General or his nominee not below the rank of Inspector General of Police of National Investigation Agency­ Member;

iii. Director General of Police, Union Territory of Chandigarh­ Member;

iv. Additional Director General of Police (Security), State of Punjab­ Member;

v. Registrar General, Punjab and Haryana High CourtMember­cum­Coordinator.

The present Writ Petition arises out of the incident dated 5.01.2021 wherein on a visit to Hussainiwala, District Firozpur, State of Punjab the convoy of the Prime Minister was stuck on a flyover for around 20 minutes. Petitioner contends that the incident constitutes a very grave security breach that could have had significant repercussions as it impacts the safety of the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

A compliance report has been submitted wherein it has been stated that the relevant records have been received, seized, and secured. The same have been sealed and placed in the custody of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

There is, however, a blame game between the State and Central Government as to who is responsible for such lapses. War of words between them is no solution. It may rather impair the need of a robust mechanism to respond at such a critical juncture.

A judicially trained independent mind, duly assisted by officers who are well acquainted with the security considerations and the Registrar General of the High Court who has seized the record pursuant to our earlier order, would be best placed to effectively visit all issues and submit a comprehensive report for the consideration of this Court.

Case Number : Writ Petition (Civil) No. 13 OF 2022; January 12, 2022

CORAM : HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE N.V. RAMANA; HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE SURYA KANT; HON’BLE MS. JUSTICE HIMA KOHLI

For Petitioner(s) Mr. Maninder Singh, Adv. Mr. Sandeep Singh, AOR For State of Mr. D.S. Patwalia, AG Punjab Mr. Sehaj Bir Singh, DAG Mr. Kannan Malik, AAG Mrs. Jaspreet Gogia, AOR For UOI Mr. Tushar Mehta, SG Mr. K.M. Nataraj, ASG Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv. Mr. Kanu Agrawal, Adv. Mr. Arvind Kumar sharma, AOR For Intervenor Mr. Sardar Charanjeet Singh Chanderpal, Adv. Mr. Anil Kumar, AOR For Intervenor Mr. Vipin Kumar Saxena, Adv. Mr. Amit, Adv. Mr. Mukesh Kumar Singh, Adv. Mr. Maneesh Saxena, Adv.

Case Link : https://pdf.caselaw.in/sc/2022/01/1161/

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