The BJP government has spent more than Rs 9 lakh on the Justice A L Dave Commission that it constituted in March last year to inquire into the 2017 Naliya gangrape case, the state government stated this in Gujarat Assembly on Wednesday.
The government, however, rejected the Opposition’s allegation that the probe commission was in a dormant condition and had not held any proceedings. The Dave commission was appointed to inquire into the gangrape case in which several BJP members, who are now suspended, were accused.
On Wednesday, in a written reply to a question raised by suspended Congress MLA Pratap Dudhat, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who also holds the portfolio of Home Department, said that as per the terms of reference of the commission, it has to submit its report to the government within three months from the first sitting of the commission.
In reply to other questions, the state government has stated that over Rs 9 lakh have been spent on the commission. It has not come on record how many hearings did the commission held and whether it had submitted its report to the state government.
The announcement of the commission was made by Minister of State for Law and Justice (independent charge) Pradeepsinh Jadeja in the Assembly on March 17 last year during the Budget session of the House. The announcement had come when the Opposition Congress was strongly raising the issue and disrupting the House proceedings over it. At that time, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had given the assurance to the Opposition from the floor of the House that a judicial inquiry will be ordered in the case. And, subsequently, a judicial commission was formally announced, with Justice Dave as its head to inquire into the matter.
The Naliya gangrape case, which came to light in January last year, caused a major embarrassment to the ruling BJP. A 34-year-old woman from Kothara village of Naliya taluka of Kutch district had accused several BJP members of raping her for more than one-and-a-half-years. Following the allegations, the BJP members were suspended. Opposition Congress and Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti had raised the issue across the state.