New Delhi, Jun 28: The Central Information Commisison has directed the Union Home Ministry to make public the FIR and charge sheet filed by Delhi Police in connection with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, 1948.
The directives of the transparency panel came on a plea of one Hemanta Panda from Bolangir district of Odisha who had made a seven-point application to the Home Ministry seeking a copy of the FIR and charge sheet among other pieces of information including whether any post mortem was done as per law.
The Ministry had forwarded the application to the National Archives of India, Director of Gandhi Smriti, formerly known as Birla House, where Gandhi spent his last days and was assassinated, and Darshan Samiti.
The National Archives of India informed Panda that he might visit its office to find out information required by him in keeping with the provisions of the Public Records Act, 1993 and Public Records Rules, 1997.
Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti informed him that "No postmortem was performed as per the wishes of the family."
Panda was also informed by the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti that they do no have any information related to the FIR and the subsequent charge sheet filed in relation to the assassination.
In its response, Gandhi Smriti said the investigation was carried out by Tughlak road Police Station which had registered the FIR after the murder.
"The appellant insisted that he had sought the information from MHA and they should provide it to him.
"Accordingly, we direct the CPIO of MHA to make another search to see whether any information regarding point no. 1 (FIR and charge sheet), mentioned above, is available in that Ministry or with the Tughlak Road Police Station," Information Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal said.
Sabharwal said in case the information in question is not available in MHA or Tughlak Road Police Station, the CPIO of the Home Ministry will informa Panda in writing.
"The above directives of the Commission should be carried out by the CPIO, MHA within 30 days of the receipt of the order, under intimation to the Commission," he said.
Sabharwal also said Panda is at liberty to avail himself of the facilities offered by the National Archives of India to consult their records.
Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu right wing militant Nathuram Godse at Birla House on January 30, 1948 when the Mahatma was coming out to attend his daily prayer meeting.
Gandhi succumbed to injuries at the Birla House. Gandhi, who fervently espoused
Hindu-Muslim unity, had faced five unsuccessful attempts on his life since 1934 before being assassinated. Eight people including Godse were charged for the assassination.
After a trial at a special court inside Red Fort, Godse and his accomplice Narayan Apte were sentenced to death, while remaining five were awarded life sentence. Vinayak Savarkar, also known as Veer Savarkar, was acquitted.