Publish manuscript on Netaji in 4 months: HC

The Delhi High Court directed the Defence Ministry to either publish within four months the unedited manuscript containing information about the disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose or provide it to RTI applicant Chandrachur Ghosh

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Published: April 5, 2012 12:08 am

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Defence Ministry to either publish within four months the unedited manuscript containing information about the disappearance of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose or provide it to RTI applicant Chandrachur Ghosh.

The manuscript — History of Azad Hind Fauj — written by historian Praful Chandra Gupta in 1950 has been under wraps for decades as a “classified” document. It is the only work commissioned by the Indian government on the activities of the Azad Hind Fauj and the fate of its leaders,particularly Bose.

Dismissing the ministry’s opposition to giving it to Ghosh,Justice Vipin Sanghi said: “Since the ministry has stated it intends to publish the manuscript,the original copy may not be provided to Ghosh,provided the manuscript,without editing or updation,is published within four months from today. In case,it is not published,they shall provide a copy of original manuscript within two weeks thereafter.” He was hearing the Centre’s appeal against the Chief Information Commissioner’s 2010 order to furnish the document to Ghosh,an office-bearer at Mission Netaji trust.

Dismissing the Centre’s claim giving away the manuscript might prove detrimental to “economic interests” as it was a subject of “intellectual property”,the SC said the Centre had failed to state as to who was the third party whose “competitive position” would be harmed in this case,particularly when Ghosh had given an undertaking that the original work would not be commercially exploitedor put up on the internet.

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