2013 Jhiram Valley Naxal attack: Chhattisgarh HC stays proceedings of judicial commission, issues notice to govt

After the court stayed the hearing, it created a political storm in the state

AVDHESH MALLICKUpdated: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, 10:04 PM IST
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2013 Jhiram Valley Naxal attack: Chhattisgarh HC stays proceedings of judicial commission, issues notice to govt |

Raipur: The division bench of the Chhattisgarh High Court stayed the proceedings of the re-constituted two-member commission to further investigate the Jhiram valley massacre that occurred in 2013.

A division bench headed by Chhattisgarh High Court Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami on Wednesday stayed the proceedings of the reconstituted commission. It had served notices to the state government and the commission seeking a reply by July 4. The court also fixed next date of hearing in the case July 4, 2022.

Renowned lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani and Vivek Sharma argued the case in the high court on the behalf of petitioner. They challenged the decision of Chhattisgarh government of constitution of the two-member commission on three grounds that the action was legally malafide, enquiry commission report must be presented in Chhattisgarh assembly within 6 months, and thirdly two enquiry commission cannot be set up for the same incident and same issue.

After the court stayed the hearing, it created a political storm in the state.

Former Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh alleged that the Baghel government wanted to hide and suppressed findings of Prashant Mishra Commission report.

Moreover, he also demanded that the Chief Minister Baghel must resign on moral grounds and transfer the power to some eligible Congress leader who is capable of ruling the state as per the law of the land.

After Raman’s verbal attack, Congress also launched a counterattack on him and BJP. Congress State Communication Department Chief Sushil Anand Shukla questioned why Raman Singh and BJP were offended by the second judicial enquiry commission.

In the dreadful Maoist ambush on May 25, 2013, at Jhirum valley under Darbha police station limits on the Sukma-Jagdalpur highway 27 persons including top brass of Chhattisgarh Congress leaders Bastar tiger Mahendra Karma, then Congress State President Nandkumar Patel, his son Dinesh Patel, ex-central Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, Uday Mudaliar, and others were killed.

Notably, on May 28, 2013, the then Dr. Raman Singh led BJP government appointed a judicial commission, headed by Chhattisgarh High Court Judge Justice Prashant Mishra to investigate the incident. And after 8 years of probe, Justice Prashant Mishra submitted the report of the judicial inquiry commission to Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey in November 2021.

The ruling Congress questioned the submission of the report directly to the Governor. Congress alleged the incident was against the established tradition.

The submission of the judicial commission report created a political storm in the Chhattisgarh assembly. The major opposition party BJP alleged the government was concealing the findings of the Prashant Mishra Commission. Therefore, it had not presented the report in the Chhattisgarh Assembly.

Just after five days of submission of judicial commission report to the Governor, Bhupesh Baghel government reconstituted two-member judicial commission headed by former judges of Chhattisgarh High Court Justice Satish K. Agnihotri and Justice G. Minhazuddin, and fixed six-month deadline to complete the investigation.

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