The panel’s task will be to create a contemporary record of acts of omission and commission around the riots, and their aftermath, and submit its report within 12 weeks
NEW DELHI – The Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG), a group of former civil servants, has set up a six-member committee comprising former judges and bureaucrats to carry out a thorough examination of what transpired before, during and after the February Delhi riots that left 53 people, mostly Muslims, dead and some 400 others injured.
CCG said in a press statement on Sunday that formation of the experts’ panel had become even more necessary as the investigation carried out into the riots by the Delhi Police had evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.
CCG members, who have worked with the Central government as well as different state governments, have invited six former public functionaries of high standing, with a proven record of public service “to take on the onerous responsibility.”
They include Justice Madan Lokur, former judge of the Supreme Court (Chairperson); Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice of the Madras and Delhi High Courts and former Chairman, Law Commission; Justice R.S. Sodhi, former judge of the Delhi High Court; Justice Anjana Prakash, former judge of the Patna High Court; G.K. Pillai, IAS (Retd.), former Home Secretary, Government of India; Meeran Chadha Borwankar, IPS (Retd.), former Director-General, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Government of India.
“The Group expects the committee to be committed to independence, impartiality and transparency in its functioning,” said the statement.
The panel will be called Citizens Committee on the Delhi Riots of February 2020: Context, Events and Aftermath, and its task will be to create a contemporary record of acts of omission and commission around the riots, and their aftermath, and submit its report within 12 weeks.
“Considering the horrific nature of the riots in North-East Delhi in February 2020, the scale of violence, the loss of lives and the resulting communal divide between communities, we felt that an expert body should carry out a thorough examination of what transpired before, during and after the riots,” reads the CCG statement.
According to CCG, a committee with credible reputations in the higher judiciary, the civil service and the police would be best suited to contribute to an objective and fair understanding of the riots and their aftermath.
The Terms of Reference for the committee are as follows:
–To inquire into the events that transpired before and during the riots, including the response of the state machinery in dealing with the violence, restoring law and order, and related matters.
–To analyse and assess the response of the police in investigating the riots.
–To examine the role of the mainstream and social media in spreading information, both genuine and fake, before, during and after the riots, and its impact on events.
–To assess the civic administration’s efforts at providing relief and extending reparations to the victims of riots.
CCG members, who are not affiliated to any political party, work towards fostering a civic culture bound by the ethos of the Constitution of India.