Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has approved the filing of a charge sheet against top officials in security lapse case during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the state in January last year.
A charge sheet will be filed against former DGP S Chattopadhyay, IG Inderbir Singh and SSP Harmandeep Hans. CM Mann took this step after facing opprobrium from the Center over the delay in action.
Chattopadhyay was the state DGP, Inderbir was the DIG of Ferozepur and SSP of Hans Ferozepur at the time of the lapse in PM Modi’s security. All these officers will be charge sheeted for a big penalty for negligence in duty during the Prime Minister’s visit.
Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar had sent a file to all the guilty officers to file a charge sheet. Out of which the Chief Minister’s Office approved the charge sheet of only three IPS officers.
According to the information received, only show-cause notice will be sent to former Chief Secretary Anirudh Tiwari. Apart from other officials ADGP Naresh Arora, G Nageshwar Rao, IG MS Chinna and Rakesh Agarwal, the then DIG Retired Surjit Singh and SSP Charanjit Singh have also been sent show-cause notices. In this notice, they have been asked about why action should not be taken against them.
A five-member team led by Justice Indu Malhotra was formed for the security investigation, on whose recommendation this action is being taken. The Punjab Chief Secretary has written a detailed note on the role of each officer, citing indu Malhotra’s report. The CM on the advice of his office, recommended the chargesheet against only three IPS officers.
After approval from the state, the Home Department will now issue a charge sheet and a reply will be sought from the guilty officials. After receiving the reply, an investigating officer will be appointed to take the final decision and sentence.
On January 5, 2022, during PM Modi’s visit to Punjab, an inquiry committee was formed by the Supreme Court to investigate the security breach. It submitted its report 6 months ago. This inducted the then state chief secretary Anirudh Tiwari and police chief S Chattopadhyay for lapses.
Last week, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla had asked Punjab Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar to submit an action taken report and a reply was sought about the delay in action by the state government against the erring officers.