The second batch of Netaji files, released on Tuesday, reveal that Suresh Chandra Bose, brother of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, had, without permission, published secret government documents in his book “ Dissentient Report ”, violating the Official Secrets Act. The government discussed if some action should be taken, but then decided to let the matter rest.
Suresh Bose was part of the three-man Netaji Enquiry Commission, headed by Shah Nawaz Khan, which was constituted in 1956, to investigate the death of Netaji. While two members of the Commission concluded that Netaji had died in an air crash, Bose rejected the theory. In his book, he accused then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, of not being interested in any enquiry as he was “convinced” about Netaji’s death.
. Bose also challenged the decision to appoint Shah Nawaz Khan as chairman of the Commission. According to him, Khan was chosen as he had already made up his mind that a plane crash had happened, in line with Nehru’s beliefs.
In the book, Bose wrote: “I consider myself exceedingly fortunate to have succeeded in securing some top secret reports….and in my being able to secure a few photographs, sketches and other papers, which along with other papers were indispensably necessary for writing my report and which our Government have intentionally withheld from me.”
The government noted that these documents and photographs — made available to Bose as part of the investigating committee — shouldn’t have been published in the book and it was being discussed if action should be taken against him and the publisher.
The matter was raised in the Home Ministry, which concluded that the various documents published didn’t appear to have same secrecy in 1957 (when the book was published) as was in 1945-46, for the enquiry report had already been placed in Parliament. The Defence Ministry also agreed that these documents would not cause any damage to the state. Further, Bose had pulled out two photographs from the report for the book. But it was decided to put the matter to rest rather than revive possible embers of controversy.