‘Forwarded judicial panel’s report to govt after legal view, didn’t read it’

Bilaspur, Nov 15: Amid a row over the submission of a judicial commission’s report on the 2013 Jhiram Valley Naxal attack to her, Chhattisgarh Governor Anusuiya Uikey on Sunday said the panel should be asked why it gave its findings to her.
Talking to reporters here, the governor said she had accepted the report as it was handed over to her, and after taking a legal opinion it was forwarded to the state government.
If any judicial report is being given to the governor, then there is no issue in it. I haven’t gone through the report as it is in ten volumes and runs into 4,184 pages. From me (Governor House), the report was directly forwarded to the state government but how it was leaked (as being alleged by Congress), you only tell (how it had happened). So should I hand over the report to the government like a postman? the governor retorted when asked about the ruling Congress’ objection over the submission of the report to her.
..If the report was given to me, should I not consult a legal advisor on this? I sought the opinion of legal advisors on what to do with the report and what kind of direction to be given to the state. After their opinion, I forwarded the report to the state government, she added.
Responding to a query on Congress’s allegations that the report was submitted in a “hurry”, Uikey said, ask Justice (who was heading the commission) about it. I have nothing to do with it. The report was submitted by the commission. I accepted it after they gave it to me. Tell them (apparently referring to Congress) to ask the justice about it.
Maoists had attacked a convoy of Congress leaders during the party’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in the Jhiram valley in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh on May 25, 2013, killing 29 people, including then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former Union minister V C Shukla. The judicial commission, headed by then Chhattisgarh High Court judge Prashant Kumar Mishra was constituted on May 28, 2013 by the then BJP government to inquire into the deadly attack.
Eight years later, the Jhiram Ghati Inquiry Commission’s secretary and registrar (judicial) of the Chhattisgarh High Court, Santosh Kumar Tiwari, handed over the report to the governor on November 6.
Justice Mishra has been transferred as Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court recently. Baghel and the ruling Congress party had said that submitting the report to the Governor was against the established practice and claimed the report seems to be incomplete .
On November 11, the state government had appointed a new chairman and a member in the same judicial commission and expanded its term by six months. Baghel on Friday said the state government will not make public the report of the commission, which was submitted to the governor, saying it was incomplete .
The Congress on Saturday claimed that when the report was forwarded to the state government by the Governor’s House its envelope was open and suspected that the report might have been leaked. Speaking on the sidelines of an event here, Uikey said she had received complaints of religious conversion from heads of tribal communities from Bastar.
I have received complaints about it. Around 70-75 Manjhi and Chalki, heads and priests of tribal communities in Bastar, have come to Raj Bhavan and informed me about how churches are being opened in houses and villages there. They claimed that their complaints (in this connection) were not registered.
I have told them to submit strong evidence and definitely, there is a law under which no one can be forcefully converted. If there is evidence then action should be taken,”
she added.

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