Skip to main content

Jha commission on corruption in Narmada dam oustees' rehab: MP govt stance "delays" release of report

By Our Representative
Is the Madhya Pradesh government jittery over the findings of the SS Jha Commission, looking into embezzlement of funds meant for the rehabilitation of the Narmada dam oustees? It would seem so, looking into the stance it took in the High Court on releasing the report.
In its application to the Madhya Pradesh High Court, the states government has demanded that the Jha Commission report should not be released but first handed over to it for being laid before the legislative assembly of the Madhya Pradesh, claiming its “mandatory” right under Section 3 of Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 (CIA).
Claiming to represent Narmada oustees, the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), however, has strongly disputed the claim. It has said that the notification to appoint the commission is in compliance of the High Court’s order, which “never directed commission to be appointed under the particular section and the Act.”
The commission was appointed by a 2008 High Court order. The High Court bench of Chief Justice AK Khanwilkar and Justice Sanjay Yadav heard the application by the state government submitted on January 21, 2016, pertaining to what NBA said in a communiqué were “legal issues” related to the release of the Jha Commission report.

Seven year investigation

The report is based on seven-years-long investigation, particularly looking into the corruption in the rehabilitation of the Narmada dam oustees.
Pointing out that the commission appointed was by the High Court “under Article 226 of the Constitution”, the NBA says, the commission was meant to promote, facilitate, and assist the state, and monitoring rehabilitation of oustees, since corruption has “derailed the rehabilitation process”.
Looking into legal issues while hearing the plea, the Chief Justice reportedly noted that there was “no directive by the court in the judgment for the state government to appoint the Jha Commission under Section 3 of the Act.”
He added, “The state could appoint it under Section 11 of the same Act, as it was an enquiry initiated by the High Court and neither by the Government nor through a resolution by the legislature.”
Hence, says NBA, reporting on the High Court proceedings, “The notification of appointment dated October 8, 2008 was issued in compliance of the High Court’s order as well as section 3 of the Act.”
“The chief justice raised the query as to whether submission of the report to the legislature first and to get the State to place Action Taken Report on the floor of the Assembly within six months is mandatory and non-compliance would violate any rule or law related to the rights and powers of the legislature”, said NBA.
Based on this, it added, “The High Court directed both the parties to file a response on the settled legal position on this issue”, with the Chief Justice saying, the matter “has become complex due to the notification that was not challenged by anyone.”
Senior NBA leader Medha Patkar appeared in the High Court as party person, while RN Singh and Arpan Pawar appeared in the High Court for the state government. The next hearing on the matter has been fixed for February 16,2015.

Comments

TRENDING

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Misleading ads 'manipulate, seduce, lure' to market unhealthy harmful food

By Our Representative  The Nutrition Advocacy in Public Interest (NAPI) in its new report “50 Shades of Food Advertising” has sought to expose how seductive, luring, manipulative or deceptive these advertisements can be. Consequences of such advertising are increased intake of unhealthy food products that is associated with obesity and diabetes, it says. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'Failure of governance': India, China account for 54% pollution-related deaths globally

By Vikas Parsaram Meshram*   A recent report jointly prepared by UNICEF and the independent research organization Health Effects Institute has been released, and the statistics within it are alarming. It states that in 2021, air pollution caused the deaths of 2.1 million Indians, including 169,000 children who hadn't yet fully experienced life. These figures are indeed distressing and raise questions about why there hasn't been more serious effort in this direction, putting policymakers to shame. 

How US is using Tibetans to provoke conflict with China 'ignoring' India

By Lobsang Tenzin*  On July 12, US President Joe Biden signed the Resolve Tibet Act, and Tibetans cheered for it, believing that the law promotes a resolution of the dispute between Tibet and China. Is this true? First, let's look at the issue of the ownership of Tibet. 

August 9 to be observed as Corporates Quit India day: Top farmers' group

By Our Representative A recent general body meeting of the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the top farmers' organisation, stated hat "there is no need for any illusion of change in the pro-corporate policies of the BJP-NDA government" following the recent elections in which BJP failed to achieve even simple majority. It insisted,  Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is hell bent" to continue 'business as usual' policies.

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

Tribals from 60 villages observe seed festival to 'protect' diversity of indigenous seeds

By Bharat Dogra*  Nearly sixty villagers are sitting on an open floor covered by a roof for shade but otherwise open on all sides. Women and men are present in equal numbers but the visibility of women is higher because of their colorful dresses.