Monday, 14 May, 2007

Destroyed Netaji file: PMO asked to respond in 15 days

CIC Wajahat Habibullah also calls a hearing in August

Something suspicious happened in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in 1972, when GD Khosla Commission was inquiring into Subhas Chandra Bose's reported death. As a former Minister was to put it years later -- "Nehru's file on Netaji was destroyed on orders of PN Haksar, the Secretary to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi".

Cut to our times. In 2000, Mukherjee Commission asked the PMO to produce file 12(226)/56-PM titled "Investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of Subhas Chandra Bose". The Commission was told by Director of the PMO that "the above file was not available as it had been destroyed". The Commission thereafter asked the Director "to intimate to the Commission the subject and contents of the above file and the circumstances under which the said file had been destroyed".

The PMO replied: "File No 12(226)/56-PM which contained agenda paper/cabinet decision regarding "Investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of Shri Subhas Chandra Bose" was destroyed in 1972 in the course of routine review/weeding of old records since records of Cabinet proceedings are kept permanently in Cabinet Secretariat, from where they may be procured".

In 2006 Mission Netaji picked up threads, and Anuj Dhar requested the Cabinet Secretariat to furnish copies of "all papers concerning the destruction" of this file. However, notwithstanding the above assertion made by the PMO Director that "records of Cabinet proceedings are kept permanently in Cabinet Secretariat", the Secretariat passed the buck saying the matter "pertains to Prime Minister's Office".

The PMO, in turn, informed Dhar that the file "was destroyed in 1972, during routine process of review/weeding of old records." Dissatisfied, Dhar reported the following to Central Information Commission (CIC).

* The application seeking "certified copies of all papers concerning the destruction of file" has not been not answered. Rather than giving details/copies of the such papers, the PMO 's letter merely reiterates what was stated in the application itself.

* The application was filed to understand the circumstances in which a sensitive PMO file dealing with the highly controversial fate of a national hero was destroyed at a time when a judicial inquiry into the matter was on. It is very suspicious that the "routine process of review/weeding of old records" overlooked this and the file was destroyed along with some useless records. Commonsense dictates that such a historically important record should have been preserved for posterity and transferred to National Archives in due course. Therefore … Cabinet Secretariat and PMO should release detailed information and papers on the process of the destruction of the file.

Taking cognizance of the issue, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has now directed PMO officials to "appear before the Central Information Commission in the Court Room of the Commission … with relevant documents on August 10, 2007".

The PMO has also been directed to offer their comments on the appeal within 15 days.


Mr.Ambivalent said...

great job Anuj.i guess some politocal pressure is necessary.wat is ur opinion of Mayawati?she can use her position for political bargaining now at least-but then she has to be interested in Netaji!

Anuj Dhar said...

well, it is a good start...then hype matters.

I dont think so Mayawati would be interested in the case. Never heard her making any statement about this case. Besides, she's cosying up to Congress.

Unfortunately, no political party as a whole is interested in the case. The BJP is actually against it. Individual leaders are... there were BSP MPs who raised the issue in parliament. But given the turn of events, they are unlilkely to do anything.

Kisshty said...

Anujji your activism is really appreciable. If only some (even a few) politicians had your head and heart so much could have been difficult...

Anuj Dhar said...

Kisshty ji, thanks for the kind words. it is not me alone...we are couple of guys active. I dont know about politicians, but if we get support from people out there, there is a lot we can do. So please see to it that all your friends know about this blog.

Also, please make use of the shoutbox below to air your quick views or queries. One can also chat here.


Manas Khan said...

Great job Anuj.
It's really shocking to see the mentality of the politicians here.... the government doesn't want to give credits to those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

manas jolly said...

Time has come to wakeup and fight for this cause. Congress destroyed this country and they never acknowledge sacrifice of the leaders like Netaji, Bhagat Singh, Khudiram etc, They are happy with Gandhi-Nehru

Vishal Sharma said...

Truly said they are happy with only Gandhi & Nehru. But one must change this corrupted politics system in which they r not working for the Nation, they r just using the power for their own profit. Now a day we can not find out true Nation Lover & leader like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev & Chandra Shekhar Aazad.

Shame on us, most of us (Indians) even does not know the Birth Date of these revolutionaries. Why is it so? Because congress never celebrated their Birthday. But there is always huge celebration on fake freedom fighter like Gandhi & Nehru.

This time will not come again if we’ll let it go. We must get united & start revolution for the truth of our true Revolutionaries.