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The circumstances arriving in the midst of an earlier Commission being setup to start investigation on the conspiracy behind the assassination of the father of the nation, Gandhi led to the establishment of Kapur Commission in 1966.
About Kapur Commission
Central Government took the initiative to investigate assassination of the nationâ€™s great leader, Gandhi for that it had planned to setup Commission to do justice with this crucial issue through establishing two commissions earlier but owing to getting no outputs it established the Kapur Commission.
First & Second Commissions
Ketkar Commission was setup to get the facts related to Gandhiâ€™s murder in 1964 but it had to be dissolved due to an unexpected remark which Ketkar gave about his awareness that Nathuram Godse had shown desire to murder Gandhi sometime earlier. Such remarks became the bone of contention and caused public outrages too which were common thereafter. The Government setup the Pathak Commission soon after by dissolving the previous one.
Pathak Commission too didnâ€™t sustain for the longer time due to his elevation as central minister and thereafter getting appointed as governor of the then Mysore state. Such developments led for the formation of Kapur Commission which was aimed to investigate the Gandhiâ€™s assassination.
Kapur Commission Mandate
The conspiracy behind the murder of towering leader and freedom fighter, Gandhi was an unfortunate and shocking incident. The government was bound to take an initiative to investigate that matter through serious initiatives. Formation of Kapur Commission was one of the subsequent attempts as similar such attempts were done previously too but result couldnâ€™t be obtained due to one reason or the other.
Kapur Commission, a one-man commission was chaired by the then Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Justice Jivanlal Kapur. This Commission completed its task in the span of three years and submitted report to the Central Government.
While submitting its report, Kapur Commission chairman, Justice Jivanlal Kapur clearly indicated the factors associated with the assassination of Gandhi. The report had strong indication about the factors and the issues related to this unfortunate incident. Some of the key aspects of this report was as follows:-
- Commission report strongly indicated that there was a security negligence which had led for Gandhi's assassination.Â
- Names of those responsible were also indicated in the report
- The report expressed tempering evidences while they were produced into the court on previous occasions Â
- This report highlighted the modification of testimonies of two Savarkar aides.
Implementation of Recommendations
According to Kapur Commission report, Savarkar was not exonerated for a purpose of evidences and to keep the testimony factor into consideration. The trial court had acquitted Savarkar rather than exonerating him for corroborative evidence purpose. This Commission had the access to Savarkarâ€™s testimonies from aids which included his bodyguard and secretary besides some members of the Hindu Mahasabha functionaries whom the court couldnâ€™t summon for their presence previously.
The case took a new turn with the arrival of Commission report which raised many crucial questions and loopholes in the investigations done. This report clearly indicated about deliberate negligence of the duty on the part of people in the high authority which caused the sad event of assassination of countryâ€™s towering leader, Gandhi. It shed light on the negligence that if the persons in charge would have taken a prompt action and could take the security measures seriously then perhaps Gandhiâ€™s shooting could be prevented.
The report was discussed by the government authorities as to how a conspiracy led to the murder of Indiaâ€™s great leader. The timespan from November 21, 1966 to September 30, 1969 remained the crucial phase for the then Justice Jivanlal Kapur who chaired this Commission and evaluated all facets of this case to finally present the report to the Central Government which later took action on it.
Mandate & Findings
Kapur Commission worked extensively through examining 101 witnesses and the close evaluation of 407 documents which had been produced for the trial purpose and especially for investigation, besides individual assessment of witnesses by involving Central and State Government of Maharashtra during investigation period.
The Commission chairman, Justice Jivanlal Kapur had 162 sittings for this purpose and so did he kept travelling to Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur, Dharwad, Chandigarh, Pune and Baroda cities extensively to obtain the information and to evaluate them prior to their use to prepare concise report for that he was appointed chairman.
While the report was finally compiled, Kapur Commission insisted that the loopholes were from different sides but the one pointed out more vividly were constant lapses as part of the duties and roles of the then Delhi stateâ€™s Inspector General and its team who could do timely and sincere efforts to avert such big incident.