- Whether the four bullets were fired as alleged -fourth bullet theory.
- Whether the Kapur Commission Report should be reopened after the period of 46 years.
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL)8293 OF 2018
[Arising out of D. No. 15103/2017]
2. The petitioner who describes himself “An Engineer, Management Graduate, Ph.D and a Researcher with passion” approached the High Court by filing a Writ Petition in the year 2016. The High Court declined to entertain the petition and go into two questions raised i.e. whether the four bullets were fired as alleged and whether the Kapur Commission Report should be reopened after the period of 46 years.
All the evidence reveals that three shots entered the body. It further revealed that:
There were two exit wounds, one bullet did not exit the body. Thus, only two spent bullet were found at the place of occurrence. No fourth spent bullet or empty cartridge was found at the place of occurrence.
6. Another submission made by the petitioner is that this Court should review the Kapur Commission findings. G.V. Ketkar, grandson of Lokmanya Balgangadhar Tilak, made a statement that he had knowledge about the conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi prior to the incident. This raised a political storm and the Kapur Commission was set up inter alia to inquire into the conspiracy to assassinate Mahatma Gandhi. The commission headed by former Judge of this Court Shri Jivanlal Kapur submitted its report in 1969. According to the petitioner, the following finding of Kapur Commission in its report is unfair since it hurts the sentiments of the followers of Shri Savarkar:-
“All these facts taken together were destructive of any theory other than the conspiracy to murder by Savarkar and his group” He, therefore, prayed for a review of this finding or setting up of a new commission.
7. The Learned Amicus Curiae submitted that this finding was rendered after the demise of Shri Savarkar and no opportunity was given to Shri Savarkar or any of his representatives. He submitted that the finding is unfair since Shri Savarkar had been acquitted at the trial. There is no doubt that this finding does not in any way interfere with the acquittal and is a general observation probably made since Godse and others were found to have been associated with Shri Savarkar. It cannot have the effect of overturning of the finding of the criminal court which acquitted Shri Savarkar. Constitution bench of this Court in Ram Kishan Dalmia v. Justice S.R.Tendolkar considered the effect of the findings of a Commission as follows:-
“The Commission has no power of adjudication in the sense of passing an order which can be enforced proprio vigore.” Further, the Constitution bench declined to act on the findings in the report of Commission of Inquiry; “But seeing that the Commission of Inquiry has no judicial powers and its report will purely be recommendatory and not effective proprio vigore and the statement made by any person before the Commission of Inquiry is, under s.6 of the act, wholly inadmissible in evidence in any future proceedings, civil or criminal, there can be no point in the Commission of Inquiry making recommendations for taking action “as and by way of securing redress or punishment” which, in agreement with the High Court, we think, refers, in the context, to wrongs already done or committed, for redress or punishment for such wrongs, if any, has to be imposed by a court of law properly constituted exercising its own discretion on the facts and circumstances of the case and without being in any way influenced by the view of any person or body, howsoever august or high powered it may be.” The submission of the petitioner that Shri Savarkar has been held guilty for the murder of Gandhiji is misplaced.
8. We are, however, not inclined to enter into the correctness or fairness of the findings in this report. That would be another exercise in futility and would none the less pan new fires of controversy. This Court must at all cost be vary of such contentious issues and must not allow its jurisdiction to be invoked for such purposes.
9. We are, therefore, not prepared to accept the fourth bullet theory propounded by the petitioner. Learned Amicus Curiae categorically submitted that perusal of original photograph at the museum leads to no such inference. We consider the petitioner’s attempt to reopen this controversy as an exercise in futility. Since the person who took the photograph cannot be examined and any statement about the photograph made by any expert would not be admissible at this stage.
10. The court is beholden to Shri Amrendra Sharan, Ld. Amicus Curiae who has painstakingly examined the entire record of the case & even exhibits of the national museum for the assistance of the court.
11. We see no merit in this SLP and hereby dismiss the same.
J.L. NAGESWARA RAO