Putting rights issues through the looking glass. Not seeking answers, just some food for thought to see whether things could be any different!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Kiss and Tell: The story of commissions of inquiry in India

The Nanavati Commission set up to investigate the Anti Sikh riots had submitted its report months ago and finally it has been tabled before the Parliament and the Hon'ble Minister, Jagdish Tytler has been indicted. There seems to be "credible evidence" against him for having played a direct role in organising the attacks.

The action taken report by the government, however uses, rather misuses a technical argument (the use of 'very probably' in the Report) to suggest that Tytler was not involved in the riots and thus, no action is to be taken against him and he remains Minister.

I fail to understand the role of Commissions of Inquiry if their reports are of no binding value to the government. They have been given all powers of conducting investigation under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952 but what is the point of finding the truth behind a particular incident, if the Report is not made public or made public with changes or made public but no action is taken based on the findings of the Commission.

For one, the Nanavati Commission was set up by the NDA Government in 2000, 16 years after the riots took place and one Commission and eight committees later, and the political intention behind the setting up of the Commission was clear- to get back at the Congress, then in opposition. However, little did the BJP and its partners realise that it will not win the elections and their term will not be extended. Therefore, the Nanavati Commission submitted its Report to the Congress led UPA Government.

The term of the Commission was extended many times before it finally submitted its Report in February 2005. Needless to say, the Report has taken too long to be submitted and then made public. Parts of the Report were leaked by the press and many claim that the Commission is not telling the whole truth and not completely indicting the Congress government for the riots, despite the direct involvement of some of its most powerful leaders like Tytler, Sajjan Kumar, HKL Bhagat etc.

Justice Nanavati is also investigating the Gujarat carnage....Do we have a shortage of retired judges in our country that the same person is put in charge of two Commissions at the same time? Not only does it affect independence but also puts too much pressure on one person. No wonder the delay in the submission of the Report... God knows when the Gujarat inquiry Commission while submit its final report.

The Committee reviewing the AFSPA has also submitted its Report but it has not been made public yet. The validity of the Commission set up earlier to investigate the alleged rape and killing of Manorama Devi by the Assam Rifles (Upendra Commission) by the Manipur government was challenged at the Gauhati High Court by the Assam Rifles on the ground that the state government could not investigate into charges against them because they are under the direct control of the Central government. So, the High Court ruled in favour of them. However, it did allow the report to be submitted to the Centre as a fact finding report.

Commissions of Inquiry have so far been extremely ineffective in India. Their reports are acted upon by the government at their discretion and they are often manipulated to suit the needs of the government which forms them.

It has been more than 20 years that the victims of the 1984 riots have been waiting for justice and even today, despite the Nanavati Commission having submitted its report, they are still waiting.....All they have, in the name of justice is an apology from the Congress and a longer wait in store.

Sourav Ganguly: All Talk and No Play

The latest from the Maharaja of Cricket..the God of the off-side...

This is what he has to say (The Week, August 14 2005)

"I don't mind the lack of attention. I got a lot of it for five years."

Why doesn't he concentrate on playing rather than just blabbering infront of the media...Why can't he be like Sachin who demolishes all kinds of criticisms with an excellent knock....

He is 33 years old for God'sake..When will he learn the art of keeping quiet when required...He has clearly been great as a motivator to the Indian team but how about performing well once in a while and acting a little more maturely...

I know this post will outrage many a true Bengali who will unflinchingly attribute the "crab" characteristic to me...How Bengalis are like crabs..They always pull each other down ....

Unfortunately, what Sourav does not realise that a lot of the attention that came to him was because of the Indian team's performance, which although inconsistent as always has been decent, especially on the feared foreign turf....He is important to the team but not all important, as his arrogance would have him believe.....

The media will shut up if he shuts up and plays good cricket!! We don't need a talking Sourav Ganguly if he cannot perform well!