NEW DELHI: The Central Information Commission (CIC) has asked the Home Ministry to search and make public the FIR and charge sheet filed by Delhi Police in connection with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948. The CIC directive came after Hemanta Panda, a resident of Bolangir in Odisha sought the records from the Ministry Of Home Affairs in March, 2013.
The MHA in April 2013 had forwarded the RTI application to National Archive of India (NAI) which is repository of the Indian political history and to the Director of Gandhi Samriti and Darshan.
The NAI on April 18, 2013 told Panda that he might visit the NAI to consult the available records and find out the information required in keeping with the provisions of the public records act, 1993 and public records rules, 1997.
Panda, in a CIC hearing last week, informed that on April 29, 2013, the Gandhi Samriti and Darshan Samiti had provided him with all details, except for the information on Point 1 and partial information on Point 6 through which he had enquired whether post-mortem of the body was performed according to the law.
“He stated that the Gandhi Samriti and Darshan Samiti informed him that no post-mortem was performed as per the wishes of the family. At Point No.1, Panda sought a copy of the final charge-sheet filed in the case along with a copy of the FIR, which the Gandhi Samriti and Darshan Samiti did not posses but informed him that the FIR was registered by the Tughlak Road Police Station. The Appellant (Panda) insisted that he be given the information he had sought from MHA.”
“Accordingly, we direct the CPIO of MHA to make another search to see whether any information regarding Point No.1 is available with the ministry or with the Tughlak road Police station. If so, the CPIO should provide such information to the appellant (panda) free of cost,” Information Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said in his order dated June 25, 2015.
The order also noted that in case information is not available in MHA or Tughlak road Police Station, the ministry must inform Hemanta Panda in writing within 30 days.
“The above directives of the Commission should be carried out by the CPIO, MHA within 30 days of the receipt of the order, under intimation to the Commission,” he said.
Sabharwal also said Panda is at liberty to avail himself of the facilities offered by the National Archives of India to consult their records.
Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu right wing militant Nathuram Godse at Birla House on January 30, 1948 when the Mahatma was coming out to attend his daily prayer meeting. Gandhi succumbed to injuries at the Birla House.
Gandhi, who fervently espoused Hindu-Muslim unity, had faced five unsuccessful attempts on his life since 1934 before being assassinated.
Eight people, including Godse, were charged for the assassination.