Judges differ on secrecy of Commission report

Judges differ on secrecy of Commission report

The findings of the commission has caused a lot of embarrassment to the State Government.

When contacted by Deccan Herald on Wednesday, sources in the Commission said the intention behind the move was only to set a new precedent by breaking the convention of keeping the judicial probe contents secret. “No rule states that the contents should be kept secret,” the sources stated.

The commission is constituted under the Commission of Inquiries Act 1952, and there is no restriction to make an enquiry commission report public. The terms of reference set to the commission also do not put such a restriction.

The sources said 731 persons have been deposed before the commission and about 100 to 150 persons have to be cross-examined. The sources also said that charges in the interim report that police officers had joined hands with the sangh outfits in the attacks, were only impressions submitted before the commission in over 1,000 affidavits filed before it and that they were not the findings of the Commission. The Commission has time till March 2010 to submit its final report.

However, Justice Somasekhara was not available for comments.  When contacted, Justice K Jagannath Shetty told Deccan Herald, a commission must submit its report only to the government which has constituted it.

“There is nothing called an interim report of a commission. A commission probing into sensitive matters such as communal tension, should submit its report only to government,” he said.

Justice Shivashankar Bhat said the convention is to submit a final report to the government. “An interim report may contradict the final report. A report should be submitted to the government in a sealed cover,” he said.

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