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Netaji issue puts Home Ministry at backfoot before CIC

CIC expresses displeasure over the union ministry's stand of not parting with documents related to the alleged death of Netaji in a plane crash in 1945.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2007 18:36 IST

The mysterious disappearance of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose on Tuesday returned to haunt the Union home ministry as the Central Information Commission expressed displeasure over its stand of not parting with documents related to his alleged death in a plane crash in 1945.

"Who are you to decide if an information can cause unrest? You have to be accountable to the people of the country as to why an information cannot be disclosed. You must change your stated position and take a reasoned decision," Information Commissioner AN Tiwari said during a hearing by a full bench.

The full bench, headed by Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, met to decide on a plea by Sayantan Dasgupta, who had sought information from the ministry about documents relied on by two commissions that had arrived at the conclusion that Netaji had died in an air crash in Taiwan.

Dasgupta, a member of Delhi-based organisation Mission Netaji, had sought certified copies of all documents exhibited before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee (1956) and the Khosla Commission (1970-74), which probed Netaji's disappearance, as the recent Mukherjee Commission had contradicted their findings.

During the hour-long proceedings, the ministry was at the receiving end as it failed to explain its reasoning that providing the documents could lead to unrest in the country, including in Netaji's home state of West Bengal.

"At what level, this decision (for non-disclosure) has been taken? Is it the intelligence, bureaucracy or the politician...?" Tiwari enquired even as the full bench reserved its order on the matter.

First Published: Jun 05, 2007 18:25 IST