17 years after, a dud Liberhan report; no punitive action suggested by ATR | india | Hindustan Times
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17 years after, a dud Liberhan report; no punitive action suggested by ATR

india Updated: Nov 25, 2009 03:24 IST
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The Justice M.S. Liberhan commission’s report tabled in Parliament on Tuesday revealed nothing new, indicted the usual suspects and proposed no path breaking recommendation.

Questions are being asked about the report of the commission that took 17 years and cost taxpayers Rs 8 crore to investigate the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.

Specially about its finding holding former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee responsible for leading the country to the brink of “communal discord”, and giving a clean chit to then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao.

The Union government found no reason in the recommendations in 1029-page report to order a fresh probe.

Its Action Taken Report — also tabled in Parliament on Tuesday — did not name anyone for punishment.

But both the government and the Congress party said some action may be taken. “The government is bound to take positive action,” said Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily.

Going a step further, Congress spokesperson, Abhishek Singhvi, said fresh cases will be filed against individuals named by the Commission, but who are not being tried now.

“Certainly, absolutely, totally…. supplementary chargesheet can and will be filed,” Singhvi said.

But Justice Liberhan is satisfied with his report. He said his report provided “answers to all the questions”.

But critics of the report are not buying.

Anupam Gupta, commission’s counsel for eight years before be quit in 2007 following differences with Justice Liberhan, termed as “illegal”, the references made to Vajpayee in the report.

“The Commission passed a detailed order on July 22, 2003, rejecting an application to summon Vajpayee on the grounds that there was no evidence on record against him. How can the same panel arrive at such an astonishing finding?” he asked.

CPI general secretary A.B. Bardhan agreed. He said it was a “major lacuna” in the commission report to exonerate Rao and turn Vajpayee into a culprit.

“Rao knew everything on the demolition and was sleeping. He cannot be exonerated…I do not think Vajpayee was a culprit. This is my personal view,” Bardhan said.

The BJP termed the findings as “perverse and ill founded.” Senior party leader Sushma Swaraj said, “If there was any doubt in the mind of Justice Liberhan about the involvement of Vajpayee, he should have summoned him.”