The Supreme Court on Monday constituted a Committee headed by a retired apex court judge to probe the security lapse that took place during the recent Punjab visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi [Lawyers Voice v. State of Punjab and Others]..The Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli was hearing a plea seeking a court-monitored probe into the alleged security breach during PM Modi's Punjab visit..Appearing for the Punjab government today, Advocate General DS Patwalia informed the Court that the Prime Minister's travel details have been taken on record by the Registrar General of the High Court. He also mentioned that seven show cause notices were issued to police officers and other authorities in the State, sans any opportunity of hearing."Where has this show cause notice come (from) when proceedings were halted? I will not get justice from the Central government committee," he argued.Claiming that the officers will not get a fair hearing, Patwalia urged the Court to direct an independent probe..During his arguments, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referred to the Blue Book of the Special Protection Group (SPG), which is tasked with the security of the PM. He said,"Convoy of PM had reached the place which was 100 m from the protest area...as per the Blue Book, it would be incumbent upon the officers that the rules are strictly implemented and state government should direct such officers so that there is minimum inconvenience."He also pointed out that there was no intimation to the convoy that there was a crowd gathering near the flyover, which amounted to a "complete intelligence failure.""The very fact that the State is defending them (police officers) is very very serious. The Central government Committee had to examine where did this lapse take place," he added..The Court went on to question the need for a fact-finding inquiry by the Centre. Justice Kohli asked,"By issuing the show cause notice you show that you have decided how will you go ahead. So why should this Court go into the matter at all?"Justice Kant weighed in,"Your show cause notice is totally self-contradictory. By constituting the Committee, you seek to enquire if there was a breach of SPG Act and then you hold state Chief Secretary (CS) and Director General of Police (DG) guilty. Who held them guilty?"Noting that the CS and DG are parties to the case, the Court further asked,"The State and petitioner want a fair hearing and you cannot be against a fair hearing. So why this administrative and fact-finding enquiry by you at all?"Justice Kohli added,"When you issued the notice, it was before our order and after that, we passed our order. You asking them to reply in 24 hours is not expected of you."CJI Ramana then said,"If you want to take disciplinary action against the State officers, then what remains for this Court to do?".SG Mehta then suggested,"If you feel the show cause notice pre-empts the final outcome, the Committee of Central government will examine the issue and report to Court and till then, the Committee will not act upon the notice. I think this is fair."AG Patwalia then pointed out that the Central government Committee was headed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and consists of the Cabinet Secretary, the Inspector General of SPG and the Director of the Intelligence Bureau. "MHA head is heading this and they are of prima facie opinion that I am guilty already.".After having a brief discussion amongst themselves, the judges decided to call for an independent probe headed by a former Supreme Court judge. Initially, the Court directed that the Director General of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Additional Director General of the Punjab Police's Bureau of Intelligence will be the other members on the Committee. However, SG Mehta pointed out that the ADG of the State Police was involved with the security arrangement.While making it clear that inquiries into the incident are to be stopped for the time being, the Court said that it would pass a detailed order soon..Last week, the Court called for the preservation of travel records pertaining to the recent Punjab visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which a security lapse allegedly occurred.The Court also directed officers of the Punjab Police and the Special Protection (SPG) as well as other Central and State agencies to cooperate and provide necessary assistance to the Registrar General of the Punjab & Haryana High Court, who is required to keep all records in his safe custody.It further made it clear that the Committees appointed by the Centre and the State to probe the incident should not function until Monday, January 10,.During his visit to Punjab, the Prime Minister's convoy was stuck on a flyover at Hussainwala for twenty minutes after protesters allegedly blocked the road.The Central government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blamed the Congress government in Punjab for the security lapse. The State government, however, maintained that the PM had altered his route at the last minute.The plea filed by an organisation called Lawyers Voice sought suspension of Punjab Chief Secretary Anirudh Tewari and Director General of Police Sidharth Chattopadhyaya.It further prayed that the apex court should take cognizance of the incident and direct the Bathinda District Judge to collect all official documents and materials regarding the deployment and movements of the Punjab Police during the PM's visit..Notably, the Government of Punjab had constituted a two-member high level committee to conduct a thorough probe into the security lapse. The Committee will have former Chief Justice of the Punjab & Haryana High Court Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, and Principal Secretary, Home Affairs & Justice, Government of Punjab Anurag Verma as its members. Subsequently, the Central government had formed its own committee to look into the incident.