THE HARYANA government Friday appointed a two-member Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (retd.) S N Jha, former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and Rajasthan High Court, to probe the sequence of events leading to violence during the Jat agitation for reservation in February this year.
The commission is set up under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.
Another Inquiry Commission, headed by retired IPS officer Parkash Singh, is already probing into the “lapses on part of government officials in tackling the Jat agitation and subsequent arson”.
The Parkash Singh Commission, which has found gross lapses on the part of state police officers and government officers from other departments, is required to submit its report to the state government by April 17.
As per the terms of reference of the two-member judicial commission appointed today, it shall be required to “inquire into the sequence of events leading to, and all facts and circumstances relating to, the occurrence of violence leading to loss of lives, damage to properties, both private and public including roads, canals, railway stations, police stations and illegal felling of trees and violence of human rights from February 18 to 23, 2016 in Rohtak, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Jind, Hisar, Kaithal and Bhiwani”.
The Commission would “also inquire into existence of a deep-rooted conspiracy, if any, to damage the social fabric of the society and any such matter as may be found relevant in the course of the inquiry”.
The other member of the Commission is former IPS officer NC Padhi, who was Secretary Security, Government of India.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal had accepted the demand raised by opposition and announced in the Vidhan Sabha during the recent Budget Session of the Assembly that a iudicial inquiry would be instituted to inquire into the recent incidents of arson and disturbances during the agitation for reservation.
The Commission shall “also inquire into the complaints or allegations that may be made before the Commission by any individual or association in such form, as may be specified by the Commission. It shall devise and specify its own procedure for conduct of the inquiry subject to provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952”.
The state government has given a six-month deadline, from the date of its first sitting, to the Commission to submit its report.
The headquarters of the Commission will be in Chandigarh.
Justice Jha had served as President of Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal, New Delhi and Chairperson of Bihar State Human Rights Commission.
After a three -year research assignment with the National Police Commission (1979-81), Padhi joined the Intelligence Bureau and served the organization for 25 years. He is considered an expert in Islamic Affairs and North-East and had also remained the Special Director, Intelligence Bureau from 2002-05.
Padhi was appointed as Secretary Security to the Government of India in the Cabinet Secretariat in 2005 and managed the National Crisis Management Group.