PM security breach: Punjab CM okays penalty for ex-DGP, two senior cops
Chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua had moved a file to chargesheet all erring officers, but the CMO only approved the chargesheet of three police officers. Former chief secretary Anirudh Tewari will be issued a show-cause notice
Facing flak from the Centre over the delay in action over the security breach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Punjab visit in January last year, chief minister Bhagwant Mann has approved the pressing of charges against former police chief S Chattopadhyaya, inspector general of police Inderbir Singh and senior superintendent of police Harmandeep Singh Hans.
Also read: PM security breach: Centre seeks action-taken report from Punjab
Chattopadhyaya was state director general of police, Singh was deputy inspector general of police in Ferozepur, and Hans was senior superintendent of police in Ferozepur when the security breach took place. The three officers will be issued major penalty chargesheet for dereliction of duty during Modi’s visit.
Chief secretary Vijay Kumar Janjua had moved a file to chargesheet all erring officers, but the Chief Minister’s Office has only approved the chargesheet of three police officers.
Former chief secretary Anirudh Tewari will be issued a show-cause notice, officials said, requesting anonymity.
The remaining officers, additional director generals of police Naresh Arora and G Nageshwara Rao, inspectors general MS Chinna and Rakesh Aggarwal, the then deputy inspector general Surjeet Singh (now retired), and senior superintendent of police Charanjit Singh will be asked as to “why disciplinary proceedings should not be initiated against them as recommended by the Justice Indu Malhotra led five member committee to probe breach of security of PM”.
Janjua wrote a detailed note about the role of every officer, citing the justice Malhotra report, but Mann, on the advice of his office, recommended charge-sheeting the earlier mentioned three police officers.
The state’s home department will issue the charge-sheets and seek replies from the erring officers. After they submit a reply, an inquiry officer would be appointed for a final decision and quantum of punishment.
Janjua has sent the note about this to the Union home ministry, which has sought an action taken report from Punjab over the delay in action against the erring officers.
The report of the Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee looking into the breach in security during Modi’s Punjab visit on January 5, 2022, which was submitted six months ago, indicted then state chief secretary Anirudh Tewari and police chief S Chattopadhyaya for lapses.
On March 7, HT was the first to report the findings submitted by the five-member committee led by retired Supreme Court justice Indu Malhotra. Till then, the only finding of the report in the public domain was that it held Hans responsible for the lapse. HT has reviewed a copy of the report.
Earlier last week, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked Janjua to submit an action taken report, highlighting the delay by the state government in acting against the erring officers.
The report was submitted to the apex court and the Union government on August 25 last year. In September, the latter forwarded it to the Aam Aadmi Party-led state government.