Even as the Chhattisgarh government decides to adopt the children who lost their mothers in the botched sterilisation surgeries, the commission of an inquiry into the case by a retired judge — who has still not reported her findings on an earlier probe — has given rise to more misgivings than trust.
The government has decided to make a fixed deposit Rs 2 lakh in each child’s name, which can be withdrawn by them when they turn adults. The state will further arrange for free education and medical facilities at Apollo hospital in Bilaspur till they attain the age of 18 years.
However, the state government’s noble gesture could not diminish the scepticism generated over its declaration to yet again appoint Anita Jha, a retired sessions and district court judge, to conduct an independent probe into the case. Jha, as head of a single-member judicial commission, is yet to submit a report over a 2011 “fake” encounter of a tribal girl, even after three and a half years.
The commission has been asked to submit its report within three months under the stipulated seven terms of references.
“How could the judicial commission inspire confidence? The commission under her didn’t make any progress in the fake encounter case of a minor tribal girl during the last three years. Can it do so within three months now on the deaths of 13 women?” asked Sudha Bharadwaj, state general secretary, peoples union for civil liberties.
“The government’s decision to appoint judge Anita Jha… appears misleading and hollow”, a Sarguja-based activist, Rajesh Sisodia, organiser of Nange Paon Satyagraha told HT.
VG Tamaskar, a senior high court lawyer suggested, “The state government should have opted for an outside agency like the CBI or a retired supreme court judge.”