Raipur: Janta Congress Chhattisgarh-Jogi (JCC-J) state president Amit Jogi on Monday said that the submission of the inquiry report on Jhiram Ghati massacre to the Governor is justifiable.
Jogi said that the chief justice of Andhra Pradesh Prashant Mishra has prepared the report. Justice Mishra is the senior most judicial officer in the history of Chhattisgarh. If the name of any minister was there in the report then it was necessary for him (Justice Mishra) to submit the report to either the President of India or the Governor of the state and he had done so as per the principles of the provisions of the Constitution.
It will be contempt of court to comment on the report or do any politics over it unless the Governor examine it thoroughly and comes out with any decision, said Jogi. It is unfortunate to do politics on the report, Jogi said adding it is happening perhaps because of lack of knowledge. Jogi appealed all those engaged in politics to restraint on such a sensitive matter.
Being the senior-most judicial officer ever in the history of Chhattisgarh, Supreme Court probably followed the majority judgment of the 9-member Constitutional Bench in State of Karnataka vs Union of India, Jogi said.
It said, if any minister of the state government is mentioned in any judicial inquiry report, then keeping in view the principle of collective responsibility as defined in Article 164 of the Constitution, it would be justified to entrust him to the President or the Governor in place of the cabinet.
‘Amit Jogi is presenting wrong reference’
Advocate Sudip Srivastava, who is appearing for the Congress in the Jhiram Inquiry Commission, said, the decision which Amit Jogi is referring to was a different case. There was an allegation of corruption against the Chief Minister. The state government had set up a commission to investigate. The central government had constituted a big commission which Karnataka government challenged it in the Supreme Court. Then the Constitution Bench ruled that the Central Government can make such a commission. The report of such commission shall be submitted to the President or the Governor.
But in Jhiram Ghati case there was no inquiry against any minister or government rather an incident was being investigated. There was no commission of the central government also. The rules and regulations of the commission clearly state that this report should be received only by the cabinet, said the advocate. The Governor does not even have the right to comment on that report, he said. Only the Cabinet has the right to take decision on the report. If the role of any minister is also mentioned in the Commission of Inquiry, then the Chief Minister is capable of taking action.
BJP President asks whom is Congress trying to save
BJP state president Vishnudeo Sai said that all constitutional and legal aspects were considered before the head of the judicial commission submitted his inquiry report to the governor. Sai raised the question, by doing this, whom is the Congress trying to save in the Jhiram case.
Ajit Jogi and Kawasi Lakhma's name had cropped up in controversy
The role of former chief minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi and Kawasi Lakhma had been questioned since the Jhiram Ghati incident. The then Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar had claimed that Kawasi Lakhma had introduced himself when the Naxalites were firing. After that the firing stopped, Naxalites caught Lakhma, but released him without causing any harm.
Former minister Ajay Chandrakar has been mentioning many times that Lakhma was provided a motorcycle in the forest to reach the police station. Immediately after the massacre, former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi was accused of conspiracy. Jogi himself was present in the last meeting held in Sukma, which took place before the massacre. Jogi went to that meeting by helicopter and came back to Raipur. While the rest of the , who had gone by road, fell victim to the Naxal attack on their way to the next meeting of Darbha.
Ruckus over report since its submission on Saturday
Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra Judicial Inquiry Commission, which is probing the Jhiram Ghati attack, submitted the inquiry report to Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Saturday evening. Santosh Kumar Tiwari, the secretary of the Jhiram murder investigation commission and the registrar of the Chhattisgarh High Court, had reached the Raj Bhavan with this report. Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra is currently the Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh High Court. It is being said that this report was finalized even before his departure from Bilaspur. This report has been prepared in 10 volumes and 4 thousand 184 pages.
Why is Jhiram important in Chhattisgarh politics?
As many as 29 people, including several senior Congress leaders, were killed on May 25, 2013, in Jhiram Ghati attack during Congress's Parivartan Yatra. It included names like the then state president of Congress Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh Patel, veteran leaders Mahendra Karma, Uday Mudaliar. Former Union Minister Vidya Charan Shukla was seriously injured in this attack and he succumbed to his injuries. It is believed that this was the biggest attack on any political party in the country.