Calcutta HC seeks explanation from Centre on Netaji files
Besides directing the Union of India to give details about the Netaji files that have been declassified, the court has asked for providing reasons as well as office orders directing the destruction of any of such file, it says
The mysterious death of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose continues to rattle people even after so many years. In its latest order, the Calcutta High Court has now directed the Central government to provide details about files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose that have been declassified as well as those that are claimed to have been destroyed. In April 2015, various declassified files from the Indian government files revealed sensationally that Bose's family members were spooked upon from 1948 until 1968.
The order by a division bench of Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapabrata Chakrabarty came while hearing a litigation filed by city-based organisation India's Smile, relating to declassification of Netaji files.
Filed in 2014, the petition has the central government and the West Bengal government, among others, as respondents. The court on the day rejected an affidavit by the central government asserting that all the files pertaining to the revolutionary leader have been declassified.
"Besides directing the Union of India to give details about the Netaji files that have been declassified, the court has asked for providing reasons as well as office orders directing the destruction of any of such files," said Krishnendu Bhattacharya, counsel for the petitioner.
"The court found the Centre's affidavit to be vague and deemed it unacceptable. The centre has been given three weeks to time to file the affidavit afresh giving details of the declaissfied and destroyed files," added Bhattacharya.
The court also expressed its displeasure with the West Bengal government not representing itself in the matter.
While the Bengal government September last, declassified 64 files, the Narendra Modi government, beginning January this year, made public a series of files maintained by the various central departments.
Some of the declassified central files have revealed that files, including a proposal to keep Bose's ashes in a memorial at Delhi's Red Fort, were either not "readily traceable" or "destroyed".