ndsharma's blog

Judicial inquiry to protect criminals!

Posted on: October 9, 2015

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been adroitly using the judicial inquiry to evade action where action is required. It serves in two ways. It assuages the hurt of the victims of a mishap, particularly if it is the result of the dereliction of duty on the part of the bureaucrats. Secondly, Chouhan earns the gratitude of the errant bureaucrats by not taking action against them even if they are indicted by the judicial commission. Hence Chouhan’s prompt announcement of a judicial inquiry into the Petlawad (Jhabua) blast which killed over 90 persons and injured over 100 others.

A stampede at Ratangarh temple in Datia district in October 2006 had resulted in the death of 50 devotees. The judicial commission appointed by Chouhan squarely held the Collector and the Superintendent of Police responsible for the tragedy. Chouhan took no action against them nor did he act on the commission’s recommendations for avoiding such occurrences in future. A similar tragedy at the same temple took place in October 2013 and this time the death toll reached 115. Chouhan instituted another judicial inquiry. This time, though, he ordered suspension of the Collector and the Police Superintendent as it was the election year. Needless to say the recommendations of the judicial commission in the Second Ratangarh tragedy were also ignored like the recommendations of the commission in the First Ratangarh tragedy. Suspension in such cases is quietly revoked after some time.

The tragedy on September 12 in the small town of Petlawad could have been easily avoided if the officials from the district level to the State level had cared for the concerns of the people. The law does not permit storage of explosives in a residential area but here the explosives were kept in a house at the centre of Petlawad town. Moreover, as The Indian Express revealed, owner of the explosives store Rajendra Kasawa did not even have a licence to store or sell the explosives. Kasawa has only a ‘Shot Firer’s Certificate’ that allows the holder to undertake blasting work in connection with well sinking, road construction and agricultural work, among other things. The holder of this certificate is not authorised to store even one gram of explosives.

The residents of Petlawad have been complaining to the district administration about the storage of the explosives in the residential areas but the district administration always ignored the complaints. State’s Home Minister Babulal Gaur, who was the first government functionary to reach the site of the tragedy, observed that a series of violations had been found in storing and selling explosives in Jhabua district where mining business had been flourishing for long. said a series of violations have been found in storing and selling explosives in Jhabua district where mining business was flourishing since long time. a series of violations have been found in storing and selling explosives in Jhabua district where mining business was flourishing since long time. “There should be a regular three-month check of stock register and magazine depot where gelatin and other explosives were stored and obtained by the licensee which in this case was found absent”, said a series of violations have been found in storing and selling explosives in Jhabua district where mining business was flourishing since long time. The tragedy is that the State’s Home Minister can only whimper and has no power to take action against any one.

If Chouhan were honest in his intentions, he should have gone for a prompt police or CBI inquiry as it is a clear case of criminal activity. But an honest Chouhan would not have presided over the Vyapam scam which ruined the careers of thousands of young girls and boys in the State.


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October 2015
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Outright Perilous!

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