Bhaskara Rao Commission report yet to see the light of day

The inquiry report of Justice V Bhaskara Rao Commission, which was constituted to probe the police firing on May 18, 2007, the day an improvised explosive device went off and killed nine people, remains a mystery as it has not been made public.

The Commission was constituted given that after the blast, the crowd became restive, and police opened fire on it. Five persons identified as Mohammad Dastagir, Saleem Khan, Iftequaruddin, Md Ather Mohiuddin and Mohammed Zameeruddin died of bullet injuries.

Constituted in June 2007, the Commission submitted its report to the government of undivided Andhra Pradesh, then led by the Congress, in 2010. It was not tabled in the Legislative Assembly. The current ruling dispensation too has not tabled it.

Attempts to obtain a copy of the report proved to be futile.

Noted advocate S R Mahajir, who appeared before the commission and cross-examined several policemen, said that the Commission was constituted with specific terms of reference on grounds that what had transpired was of great public importance and to inform the public and government of what had gone wrong and measures which could ensure such abberations do not happen in the future.

“As I recall , the evidence clearly established that police had stated things incorrectly before the commission. The requirement of law is that when a fact-finding body under Commissions of Inquiry Act, inquires into a matter, nobody can be prosecuted for material which is placed before that tribunal, except on the grounds of fabrication or false evidence. Therefore, the police have given evidence which categorically establishes that reports filed before the authorities, including the DGP of that time, as well as before the commission, were incorrect statements on the part of the police. And therefore such police personnel involved ought to have been prosecuted,” Mr Mahajir told The Hindu.

Meanwhile, activist S Q Masood, who sought to obtain a copy of the Commission’s report, said that his Right to Information request was rejected. The activist said that he had wanted to know the terms of reference of the Commission as well as a copy of the report. “They had rejected the request under Section 8 (1) (c) of the RTI Act which says the disclosure of such information would cause a breach of privilege of the Parliament of the State Legislature. Nothing has come of it,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 24, 2022 1:39:26 pm |