Ruling out “one-sided inquiries”, the Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed former apex court judge Indu Malhotra to head the investigation into the alleged security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab on January 5.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli passed the order after hearing a petition filed by NGO Lawyers Voice seeking directions vis-a-vis the issue.
“We appoint a committee headed by Justice (Retired) Indu Malhotra, Director General NIA, Director General of Security of Punjab and the Registrar General of the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” Chief Justice Ramana said.
The court said the terms of the reference will be the cause of breach and the safeguards required for safety of the Prime Minister. The committee is to submit a report at the earliest.
“The Punjab and Haryana High Court’s Registrar General will have to submit all records to Justice Indu Malhotra,” the order said.
The Supreme Court said there cannot be “one-sided inquiries” into the breach of security. Such a sensitive issue cannot be left to one-sided inquiries by the Centre or the state government.
“A judicially trained mind should probe. A report should be submitted at the earliest,” Chief Justice Ramana said.
Modi was on his way by road to address an election rally on January 5 in Ferozepur when his motorcade had to halt after a blockade of the road by protesters, apparently farmers. Citing a threat to his life, the Prime Minister returned to New Delhi.