When the Justice Mukherjee Commission that was set up in 1999 to probe the death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose sought information on whether any file pertaining to the relevant terms of reference of the commission were destroyed, the government’s answer was in the affirmative.
One file that contained the agenda paper for cabinet decision regarding investigation into the circumstances leading to the death of Bose was destroyed in 1972 in the course of routine weeding out of old records, the commission was told.
This was revealed in the second set of 50 declassified files related to Netaji that were released on Tuesday.
The files also show that the government did not consider Netaji a “war criminal”. A letter from the MEA specified that the International Military Tribunal for the Far East does not have any records to prove that he was either a war criminal or a prisoner of war.
It said as per official records and private documents, Netaji was killed in a crash on August 18, 1945, after his departure from Taipei airport, where he had stopped on his way from Saigon to Dairen.
A letter by JN Dixit, the then first secretary at the Indian Embassy in Tokyo to the MEA, also affirms that “Japanese foreign office and academic circles” had given “tentative confirmation” that he was not declared a prisoner of war.