July 12, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Shah Commission

Spelling out the commission’s tasks and parameters within which it intends to function, Shah said his commission had the power to compel attendance by anyone, although he hoped that it would not have to do so.

By: Editorial | Published: July 12, 2017 12:00 am
J.C. Shah, Emergency, Forty Years Ago, Indira Gandhi, Industry Minister George Fernandes, Sheikh Abdullah, indian express news, india news, editorial A look at the front page on July 12, 1977, Forty Years Ago

Justice J.C. Shah said at a news conference that his commission would not only inquire into the excesses committed during the Emergency but also the circumstances which led to its promulgation. Spelling out the commission’s tasks and parameters within which it intends to function, Shah said his commission had the power to compel attendance by anyone, although he hoped that it would not have to do so.

When asked at what stage of his work he would summon Indira Gandhi before the commission, Justice Shah said he had still not looked into the 9,000-odd complaints that had been received by the Commission during the last couple of weeks. He added that “if it is necessary, I will summon her”. He made it clear that it was not the objective of the commission to indulge “in any witch-hunting or to cater to the private feuds of individuals or groups or to enter into conflicts of political group. The commission, he said, will endeavour to document the various types and patterns of cases of excesses, misuse and abuse of authority so that an authentic account of what exactly happened during the days of Emergency and the period shortly preceding it may be easily available.

George’s Plan

Industry Minister George Fernandes mooted the idea of workers taking over the management of sick industrial units. He asked trade union leaders to come forward with suggestions on the running of these units by the workers. Fernandes referred to this new concept of workers’ sector in what he termed was “loud thinking on the government’s approach to sick units”.

J&K Dy CM

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah nominated revenue and agriculture minister, Mirza Afzal Beg, as deputy chief minister. He said in the present state of his health he felt that for some time he may not be able to take the full load of work alone.

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