The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) on Friday, seeking judicial recognition of what it described as a “serious and deliberate lapse” on the part of the Punjab government regarding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security and movement.
Due to a road blockade by protesters, Prime Minister Modi was stuck on a flyover during his visit to Punjab on Wednesday.
The petitioner organisation, Lawyer’s Voice, was asked to serve a copy of the petition on the standing counsel for the Punjab government in the apex court, and the PIL was scheduled for a detailed hearing on Friday by a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana.
After senior advocate Maninder Singh raised the matter before Justice Ramana and requested an urgent hearing, the CJI issued his directive.
“I’m bringing up an urgent matter involving the prime minister’s security in Punjab a day ago,” Singh told the bench, which also included justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli.
“What do you expect from us?” the CJI inquired of Singh.
“He (Modi) was in Firozpur for a visit. It is critical to ensure that this does not happen again, and accountability for this lapse should be established. A professional and effective investigation into the bandobast is required (security arrangement)… “It would be appropriate for the district judge of Bathinda to take into custody all records of Punjab Police movements and deployment in connection with the visit and produce them before this court under your supervision,” Singh urged the bench.
“Your lordships may decide [on] what steps to take after the records are submitted by the district judge,” the senior counsel added. Please consider passing a resolution today.”
The CJI then told Singh that he needed to serve a copy of his petition on the state government. “You serve it today, and we’ll deal with your case tomorrow,” said Justice Ramana.
The Punjab government’s chief secretary, director general of police, and the central government have all been named as defendants in the PIL.
Lawyer’s Voice asked the Supreme Court to “take cognizance of the serious and deliberate lapse” on the part of the state government, its chief secretary, and the DGP in ensuring a secure route for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state on Wednesday, a lapse that the Centre blamed on the Punjab government and demanded a report on.
“Issue a writ of mandamus or any other writ, order, or direction suspending respondent No. 2 (chief secretary) and respondent No. 3 (DGP), and further direct respondent No. 4 (Centre) to take departmental action against the same,” the plea continued.
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