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  • houndbee
  • Posted: SwB Team
  • Dated: 09 February , 2011
  • Responses: 0

Report Regained

… a rarely found document,” said the Indian Express in 2000, of The Report of the Shah Commission of Inquiry, which, as Katherine Frank, Indira Gandhi’s biographer said “Despite its serious shortcomings, the Shah Commission Report survives as a treasure trove of evidence for Sanjay Gandhi’s illicit power in the period leading up to and during the Emergency…It is not surprising that Indira Gandhi had all the copies of the Report withdrawn as soon as she regained power in 1980.”

Well, that changes now. Aazhi, a publisher (mainly in Tamil) based in Chennai, has brought out the full transcript of the Shah Commission Report, edited and compiled by former Parliamentarian Era Sezhiyan.

To investigate the widespread misuse and abuse of power during the imposition of double emergencies, external and internal, in 1975-77, the Janata Government headed by Morarji Desai appointed in May 1978 the Commission of Inquiry under Justice of Supreme Court.

Justice Shah investigated enormous number of cases and voluminous evidences from the former Ministers and Officials and submitted by August 1978 his Report. Due to internecine quarrel and split in the Party, the Morarji government fell in August 1978. On her return to power in 1980, Indira Gandhi is reported, by her own sympathetic biographers, to have arranged to seize all copies of the Shah Commission Report and destroyed them, to the extent that prominent web-sites, journalists and scholars have come to conclude that ‘not a single copy of Shah Commission Report exists in India’.

A precious historical and political document cannot die and should not be allowed to be ‘buried’ and hidden, from the public, particularly of India.

Era Sezhiyan, as a Member Parliament during the three Emergencies from 1962 to 1977, came forward to compile and edit to present the full text of the Shah Commission Report with an introduction analysing the Constitutional Provisions and Judicial views relating to the proclamation of Emergency and the working of the then Government in violation of several democratic norms and rule of law.

In our Politics and Law sections, 640 pages, Rs 950. ISBN: 9789380244075

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