Recollections and reflections

Reminiscences, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai

I first came in contact with Subhas Bose in 1923 at Delhi when the Congress was divided into two groups over the question of what was known as 'Council Entry.'...Subhas Babu, as the favourite lieutenant of Deshabandhu, was playing a prominent part in the controversy. more>>

Report of the One-man Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose (1970-74)

1. Notification

1.1. The order of the Government of India appointing this Commission is contained in the Notification cited below:

Contents

  1. Notification
  2. Introductory
  3. Evidence and Proof
  4. Air Crash Story
  5. Examination of Certain Hypotheses
  6. Evidence of Certain Witnesses
  7. Some Theories and Hypotheses

 

No. 25/14/70-Poll. II
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS
New Delhi, the 11th July, 1970

NOTIFICATION

S.O. 2375. - WHEREAS The Shah Nawaz Khan Committee appointed by the Government of India in April, 1956, to inquire into and to report to the Government of India on the circumstances concerning the departure of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from Bangkok about the 16th August, 1945, his reported death as a result of an aircraft accident, and subsequent developments connected therewith, had come to the conclusion that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose met his death in an air crash;

AND WHEREAS there is a widespread feeling amongst the public that the problem of finding the truth about Netaji's death still remains;

AND WHEREAS there has been a persistent demand for a further inquiry into the matter;

AND WHEREAS the Central Government is of opinion that it is necessary to appoint a Commission of Inquiry for the purpose of making an inquiry into a definite matter of public importance, namely, the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1945;

NOW, THEREFORE, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 (60 of 1952), the Central Government hereby appoints a Commission of Inquiry consisting of Shri G. D, Khosla, Retired Chief Justice of the Punjab High Court, as sole member

2. The Commission shall inquire into all the facts and circumstances relating to the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in 1945 and the subsequent developments connected therewith and make its report to the Central Government. The Commission will be expected to complete its inquiry and make its report by the 31st December, 1970.

3. The Central Government is of opinion that, having regard to the nature of the inquiry to be made and other circumstances of the case, all the provisions of sub-section (2), sub-section (3), sub-section (4) and sub-section (5) of Section 5 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 (60 of 1952) should be made applicable to the said Commission and the Central Government hereby directs under sub-section (1) of the said Section 5 that all the provisions aforesaid shall apply to the said Commission.

T. C A. SRINIVASAVARDAN,
Joint Secretary.

To the above Notification may be added the following note prepared in the Ministry of Home Affairs, briefly stating the circumstances which led to the appointment of the present Commission:

"In April, 1956, in response to the public demand, Government of India appointed an inquiry Committee to ascertain the circumstances concerning Netaji's departure from Bangkok on August 15, 1945 and his alleged death in an air crash. The Committee consisted of the following:

 

      1. Shri Shah Nawaz Khan, M.P., Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Railway and Transport;
      2. Shri. Suresh Chandra Bose, elder brother of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose; and
      3. Shri S. N. Maitra, ICS, formerly Chief Commissioner, Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

 

The Committee examined a number of witnesses in Delhi, Calcutta, Bangkok, Saigon, Tourane and Tokyo. They also examined books and articles about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and studied relevant classified records pertaining to the matter.

2. After fully considering the evidence available two of the members (Shah Nawaz Khan and S. N. Maitra) came to the conclusion that while taking off from Taihoku (Formosa) in the afternoon of 18th August, 1945, the Japanese military plane carrying Netaji and his companion (one Col. Habibur Rahman) developed some trouble and burst into flames. Suffering form severe burns Netaji was carried into the Taihoku Hospital, where, after some hours, he passed away. The third member of the Committee, Shri Suresh Chandra Bose, submitted a dissentient report, stating that there had been no plane crash involving Neatji's death. The majority report was accepted by the Government.

1.2 The inquiry could not be completed within the period specified in the original Notification, and the term of the Commission was extended from time to time. On the completion of the inquiry, this report is being submitted for the information and consideration of the Government.

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