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)

6. Evidence of Certain Witnesses

6.1 I shall now consider the evidence of some witnesses whose importance lies not in the intrinsic worth of what they had to say, but in the enthusiasm and persistence with which they pressed their claim to be heard. Let me say, at once, that all of them displayed a total disregard for truth, and their main objective in coming before the Commission seemed to be to satisfy a desire for self aggrandizement. I would have dismissed this evidence on the short ground that even a cursory examination of it is sufficient to reject it, but because Counsel, while arguing the matter, devoted considerable time and energy to what these witnesses had said, I deem it necessary to deal with it in some detail.

6.2 The first witness I shall take up is Uttam Chand Malhotra (Witness No. 16) who, it will be remembered, gave shelter to Bose at Kabul in 1941, when after escaping from his home in Calcutta, he arrived in Kabul after a long and hazardous journey.

6.3 Malhotra came to see me first, in my office, on August 20, 1970, soon after the appointment of the Commission had been notified. He identified himself as the person who had given shelter to Bose in his house in Kabul in 1941, and had helped him to escape to Germany. He said that he represented the Netaji Swagat Committee, which had been formed to welcome Bose when he should choose to make a public appearance Malhotra began by saying that Bose had not died after sustaining injuries in an air-crash, on August 18, 1945, but was very much alive and was now living in the Shaulmari Ashram near Sylhet. He went on to assure me that he would conduct me to Shaulmari and place my hand in Netaji's hand. In this he was supported by another person who accompanied him as the representative of another committee. This was an astonishing statement, and I asked Malhotra why Bose did not make a public appearance at once, thereby resolve all doubts and immediately put a stop to the Commission's deliberations instead of remaining unmanifested and, in consequence, throwing a cloud over the entire issue and encouraging baseless conjecture and wholly unsubstantiated theories. To this question, Shri Malhotra could give no reply beyond saying that the Sadhu of Shaulmari Ashram would make himself manifest when he considered the time opportune.

6.4 Shri Malhotra sent an affidavit containing substantially what he had stated before me at the personal interview. He tendered his oral testimony at a public session of the Commission on the 28th , 29th and 30th December, 1970. The statement was a long one and covers 220 pages of the typed record. The story narrated by him, in the course of his deposition, was that in June 1962, four persons went to see him at his house in Delhi, one of them, who was dressed in a sadhu's garb, gave his name as Satya Gupta and told him that he had spent three months in the Shaulmari Ashram and had come to the conclusion that the founder of the Ashram was, in fact, Netaji. Gupta went on to relate that he had revealed this fact at hundreds of public meetings in Bengal but strangely enough, no newspaper of Northern India had published a report-of what he had stated. This, Malhotra insisted, was the reason why he (Malhotra) had not, till then, heard of the Shaulmari Ashram or of the true identity of the Swami who had founded it and was residing in it. Satya Gupta went on to inform Malhotra that a conference was going to be held in Calcutta on July 22 or 23 to consider the question of Netaji's whereabouts. Gupta asked Malhotra to attend the Conference.

6.5 Malhotra accordingly went to Calcutta, and after arriving there, he contacted Gupta on July 18. Gupta and one Roy met him and asked him to accept nomination as President of the conference. After some reluctance, Malhotra agreed. Malhotra also may Dwijendra Nath Bose, Netaji's nephew, and questioned him about the identity of the Sadhu of Shaulmari. Dwijendra Nath Bose categorically refuted the suggestion that the Sadhu was Netaji. Malhotra was then taken to a Chinese restaurant where the party ordered a meal. At this restaurant, Malhotra talked to Dwijendra Nath Bose, and asked him if he had visited the Shaulmari Ashram and had seen the Sadhu. Dwijendra Nath Bose replied that he had seen him from a distance through a pair of binoculars. Malhotra then asked him if, on seeing this Sadhu, he (Dwijendra Nath Bose) had exclaimed "Ranga Kaka," (this apparently is the nick name by which Netaji was known to Dwijendra Nath Bose). Dwijendra Nath Bose, promptly denied that he had uttered any such exclamation. Another question which Malhotra put to Bose was whether he had been served with eggs in the Ashram, and when Dwijendra Nath Bose replied in the affirmative, Malhotra exclaimed: "Only those who have your habit and only those who know that you like eggs very much would have asked that eggs be supplied to you. If the Swami was not Netaji, how could you have been supplied with eggs at the Shaulmari Ashram?" Despite Malhotra's insistence, Dwijendra Nath Bose continued to deny that the Sadhu of Shaulmari Ashram was Netaji.

6.6 Malhotra was thus prejudging the whole issue even before he had paid a visit to the Ashram and set eyes upon the Sadhu, said to be Bose. He was, in fact, forcing his judgement on a close and reluctant relative of Bose, insisting that the Sadhu must be his uncle, because no one except his uncle could have known that Dwijendra Nath Bose liked eggs. This is a preposterous way of establishing identity. It has not been suggested that Dwijendra Nath Bose's gastronomic predilection was a secret known only to himself and his uncle from whom he had been parted for, more than 21 years. In the course of these years he must have consumed thousands of eggs, if indeed, he is so fond of them as Malhotra would have us believe, and scores of persons must have known of his dietary preference. In any event, the eating of eggs is not such a rare and so peculiarly a characteristic phenomenon that it should serve as a mark of identification. Malhotra's suggestion is absurd in the extreme and Dwijendra Nath Bose's categorical denial of the Sadhu's identity with his uncle makes nonsense of Malhotra's logic.

6.7 To resume Malhotra's narrative, he was now introduced to Shri Niharendu Dutt Majumdar, Advocate, and when he put the matter to him, Shri Majumdar emphatically maintained that the Sadhu of Shaulmari Ashram was not Netaji. In Malhotra's words, "then we started the discussion and Mr. Niharendu Dutta Majumdar told me that those people, Mr. Satya Gupta and company, who were saying that the Sadhu Baba of Shaulmari Ashram were Netaji, were lying." Shri Majumdar brought the issue to a conclusion by insisting that Malhotra seek an interview with the Baba, and drawing up an application, asked Malhotra to sign it. This application, addressed to the Baba of Shaulmari Ashram, was endorsed by Shri Majumdar to facilitated Malhotra's obtaining an interview. It may be mentioned that Shri Majumdar was the Legal Adviser of the. Ashram, and therefore, not only knew the Sadhu personally but had considerable influence with him. His endorsement of Malhotra's application would therefore ensure Malhotra's early interview with the Baba.

6.8 Malhotra went back to Delhi, and a day or two later, he received an express telegram informing him that the Baba would grant him an interview on the 30th July. Malhotra, at considerable inconvenience, and financed by his wife, who promptly produced a sum of Rs. 200 for his expenses, travelled to Shaulmari and there, saw the Baba on the 30th and again on the 31st July. Malhotra's account of this interview is an interesting exercise in evasion, circumlocution and misleading half-truths. He did not attribute to the Sadhu a categorical admission of his true identity, but by innuendoes and suggestions tried to convey that the Sadhu accepted, or at any rate did not deny, Malhotra's verbal and spiritual tribute offered to him in the belief that he was offering it to Netaji. Malhotra maintained that he knew Netaji intimately and had entertained him in his house as a guest for a period of 46 days in 1941, and he is quite certain that the Sadhu he saw on July 30, 1962, was no other than Subhas Chandra Bose. But strangely enough he based his conclusions upon a number of imaginary and unconvincing hypotheses. These he enumerated in the course of his deposition as follows:

 

  1. Despite his denials, Dwijendra Nath Bose had in fact seen the Sadhu of Shaulmari and exclaimed "Ranga Kaka". Of this fact he was assured by Rattan Maheshwari;
  2. Shri Dwijendra Nath Bose was served with eggs at the Ashram, and this was clear proof of the fact that the founder of the Ashram was Netaji, because only Netaji could know that his nephew, Dwijendra Nath Bose, liked eggs;
  3. Although Shri Majumdar had categorically stated that Satya Gupta and Roy were lying when they said that the Sadhu was Netaji, Shri Majumdar had not publicly denounced Gupta and Roy;
  4. At a meeting at which Shri Malhotra threw a challenge regarding the identity of the Shaulmari Baba, saying "if anybody knows regarding the Shaulmari affair and knows that the Sadhu there is not Netaji, I will request him - I give him full time - to come and narrate to the people what is the actual thing at the Shaulmari Ashram". No one in the course of next three hours came forward to say that the Shaulmari Sadhu was not Netaji.
  5. In the course of his interview, the Baba told Malhotra: "You know the people of Bengal believe me to be Netaji, I wanted to give you an opportunity of seeing me so that I could tell you who, in reality, I am. This has become a strange kind of mystery." But the Sadhu was never credited with having made an open admission or confession of being Netaji.
  6. The Baba, according to Malhotra, had invited a number of prominent persons including Mr. Nehru, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Mr. J. P. Narayan, Dr. B. C. Roy and Mrs. C. R. Das to visit him at the Shaulmari Ashram, but none of them had done so because they did not want to expose themselves to the danger of having to say publicly, what they at heart, believed, viz. Bose was alive and was residing in the Shaulmari Ashram. Baba had, therefore, closed his doors to them now and would not entertain them even if they came.
  7. In the course of the interview, the Sadhu referred to Malhotra's article when Bose was Ziauddin. On this Malhotra said: "Baba, how you have remembered me from the last 1946 to 1962." The Sadhu laughed and did not give a reply.
  8. In the course of the same interview, Malhotra said to the Sadhu that people who visited him in the Ashram remained silent when they came out, and because of their silence, people thought that the Sadhu was Netaji. To this, the Sadhu replied: "They may think so. If people think, what can I do?"
  9. Subhas Chandra Bose in his childhood had a nurse named Sharda and this was the reason why the Sadhu of Shaulmari Ashram had adopted the name Shardanand.

 

6.9 It is scarcely necessary to discuss the logical soundness or the probative value of the 9 reasons given by Malhotra for coming to the conclusion that the Sadhu was, in fact, Netaji. While Malhotra's statement that he quite definitely recognised Bose in the person of Swami Shardanandji would be a piece of relevant and admissible evidence, the inferences he made from the various circumstances, narrated by him, amount, at most, to an opinion formed on extraneous material and on the conduct of other persons. Such opinion has no probative value, and is inadmissible in evidence. I have already dealt with one of the points enumerated above, viz. Malhotra's reaction to Dwijendra Nath Bose's statement that he had been served with eggs for his breakfast at the Ashram. The other points need not be noticed as the reasoning advanced by Malhotra is wholly illogical and unconvincing. A word may, however, be said about the public meeting addressed by Malhotra at Falakata. When cross-examined by Shri Majumdar, Malhotra admitted that at the very first public meeting which he addressed, after his visit to the Ashram, he told his audience that he was not at all sure of the identity of the Baba, and therefore, could not say that the Baba was, in fact, Netaji. He explained this statement in the following manner: "Baba told me that he was going for tapasya for one month. I thought this, his tapasya should not be interrupted. For this reason, I stated at the Falakata meeting that my eyes might have given me a wrong impression." Malhotra admitted that at this meeting he had said that the Sadhu did not look the same person as Netaji.

6.10 Malhotra paid two more visits to the Ashram but on neither occasion was he admitted to an audience by the Sadhu, and therefore, the only time he saw the Sadhu personally was on the 30th and 31st July, 1962, and after these meetings he publicly expressed his doubts about the Baba being Netaji. What, then made him change his view? Certainly not any direct or personal information received by him.

6.11 There are one or two other witnesses who corroborated Malhotra's evidence regarding the identity of the Sadhu of the Shaulmari Ashram. They are Hira Lal Dixit, Sajjan Lal and Namwar Upadhyay. It is only necessary to give a few extracts from the evidence of these witnesses to show how palpably false and unreliable their evidence is. Said Hira Lal Dixit: "I went to Shaulmari Ashram on the 17th of January, 1965, and I had darshan of a Sadhu there. I know that he is Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. I went to Shaulmari Ashram without permission. I was arrested and a garland of shoes was put round my neck. I was then beaten and produced before the Sadhu. He told me that I had done a wrong in proclaiming him to be Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, because he was on the list of war criminals. I was then beaten and put into jail. I have spoken at two thousand meetings and proclaimed that Shri Shardanand, the Sadhu at Shaulmari Ashram is indeed Netaji...I stayed with Netaji for half an hour in Shaulmari Ashram. I talked to him. He did not admit that he was Subhas Chandra Bose then. He said that he had not been born in Janaki Nath Bose's house, because I knew that he was born in Cuttack. I know for certain that the Sadhu of Shaulmari Ashram was Netaji. I talked to him for half an hour. The man who attended Mr. Nehru's funeral and was near his dead body was Subhas Chandra Bose. I saw this in the newsreel."

6.12 With regard to the Sadhu standing near Shri Nehru's bier, the matter was investigated by the Commission, and we have the testimony of Shri Lokesh Chandra and Shri Vira Dhammavara, a Cambodian monk. The evidence of these two witnesses is that the bald and bare-headed monk seen standing in the picture near Shri Nehru's bier was no other than Shri Vira Dhammavara. The rest of the statement quoted above has only to be rejected as completely false. It may be mentioned here that Shri Dixit is the person who wrote or compiled a book in which Malhotra's theory has been propounded, and Malhotra's interview with the Sadhu of Shaulmari Ashram has been described in somewhat picturesque terms.

6.13 The story of Shri Sajjan Lal (Witness No. 14) is somewhat similar to the story narrated by Hira Lal Dixit. He began his statement by saying that he had never met Netaji in the flesh and had not known him personally. He had, however, seen his photographs. On hearing that the Baba of Shaulmari Ashram was no other than Netaji, he went to interview him. "On 1-10-1964, my wife, my children and I went to Shaulmari Ashram. I met Netaji there. He was known as Shardanandji in Shaulmari Ashram. I remained at the Ashram for 29 hours. I talked to Netaji for about three quarters of an hour during my visit. I paid homage to him, and so did my wife. The Sadhu asked me about our health and then asked me if I was in the same chakkar (mental aberration) as Malhotra. I said, yes, and then he said to his Secretary, Ramani Ranjan, that this boy, meaning me, appeared to be a villain and that Malhotra will learn the lesson of his life...The Sadhu did not deny that he was Netaji, I suggested that he should interview Mr. Uma Shankar Trivedi. He said that no one should come to see him without permission; otherwise they would be disappointed...On the following day I was turned out of the Ashram. I had no further occasion either to go to Shaulmari Ashram or to meet Netaji personally myself, but I have been telling everyone that the Shaulmari Ashram Sadhu is in fact Netaji."

6.14 Namwar Upadhyay (Witness No. 22) also admitted to a rude rebuff from the Shaulmari Ashram. He said he wrote to the Ashram asking for an interview, and he received a letter in reply "telling me that if I had no connection with Shri Uttam Chand Malhotra, I would be allowed to visit the Ashram." At the interview, he asked the Sadhu what was the truth in the rumour that he was Netaji. "I also asked him why he did not disclose his identity if the rumour was false. Babaji replied: 'That is not my principle.' The Sadhu asked the witness to prepare a list of 100 persons who were familiar with Netaji so that they could come to identify him and proclaim to the world the truth of the matter. The witness, however, could not compose the list, and so the matter did not proceed further. Despite this request of the Sadhu, the witness did not publicize what had taken place at the interview. He said: "I spoke about the identity of Netaji and Shardanandji only to my intimate friends, but said nothing about it to outsiders or politicians. I spoke to everyone and said that Sharadanandji was Netaji. I used to speak about the matter everyday. I used to speak the truth to everyone whom I considered to be a man good at heart. If a bad man asked me about the matter, I would not deny the identity of Shardanandji but would reply in a negative way that I respected Shardanandji even more than Netaji and placed him higher than Netaji. People understood whatever they liked from this answer and it was not my desire to explain the matter further". Upadhyay's conduct is inexplicable in view of the importance of the matter and the witness's anxiety not only to find out the truth but to advertise it by preparing a list of 100 important persons who could identify the Sadhu and then proclaim his identity.

6.15 The evidence regarding the identity of Shaulmari Baba with Netaji has no probative value whatever and does not merit any contradiction. Contradiction, in ample measure, is however, provided by a number of witnesses. Shri Niharendu Dutt Majumdar, who knew Netaji well and who saw the Sadhu of the Shaulmari Ashram upon several occasions, has categorically stated on oath that the Sadhu is definitely not Netaji. I shall presently discuss Shri Dutt Majumdar's evidence on the point in greater detail. Shri Dwijendra Nath Bose, Netaji's nephew, has made a statement to the same effect. Questions were asked in Parliament on more than one occasion, and it was authoritatively stated that the Baba of Shaulmari Ashram was not Netaji. A criminal case was brought against Malhotra and Dixit under sections 465, 468, 469, 471, 500 and 239A of the Indian Penal Code by the Ashram, represented by the Personnel Assistant to the Secretary of the Ashram and by the Personal Assistant himself. In the complaint, it was stated that the two respondents, i.e. Uttam Chand Malhotra and Hiralal Dixit had been falsely stating that the Sadhu of the Shaulmari Ashram was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and they had forged documents to support their false statement. On one occasion, the Secretary of the Ashram referred to Malhotra and his supporters as "rabidly immoral persons, out to defraud people monetarily and politically by taking recourse to utterly false, cooked up and concocted propaganda." On general considerations alone, it is impossible to believe the story that Bose would remain in hiding for such a long time in an Ashram, be visited and seen by a number of persons, and yet succeed in keeping his identity enveloped in the mist of doubt. Mr. Samar Guha and Mr. Surendra Mohan Ghosal both of whom know Netaji well, have clearly stated that the Sadhu was not Netaji. Indeed, the harassment to which the Sadhu was subjected by Uttam Chand Malhotra and his supporters made the Sadhu institute criminal cases against them and finally close up the Ashram and escape to an unknown place where he could not be followed and intimidated.

6.16 The identity of the Baba of the Shaulmari Ashram was mooted for the first time on September 29, 1961, when Radhey Shyam Jaiswal, a school teacher, wrote a letter to Mr. Nehru, in the course of which he said that the founder of the Shaulmari Ashram had spread rumours that he was Subhas. In the letter, Jaiswal stated that there was an air of mystery and intrigue about the Ashram. The Sadhu was a chain-smoker and smoked imported cigarettes. He was a linguist, being familiar with Russian, Chinese, German and other languages. He went on to say that the Ashram, in his view, was a centre of some foreign conspirators who were secretly working there.

6.17 The matter was referred to the Intelligence Bureau and enquired into. Several reports on the working of the Ashram were submitted. Of these, the one submitted in June, 1962, traced the history of the Ashram, described its activities and expressed the view that there was nothing suspicious or blameworthy about what was happening in the Ashram, and no political party in West Bengal had shown any interest in the Sadhu's affairs. In the meantime, however, the hare started by Radhey Shyam Jaiswal drew the notice of some imaginative people who began to pursue it and advertise the notion that the Sadhu was in fact Netaji. This stir rapidly assumed the proportions of an agitation, and public meetings began to be convened and addressed by the protagonists of the strange belief. The initial step was taken by Haripada Bose, Joint Secretary of the Ashram, who towards the end of 1961, began to declare that the Sadhu was Netaji in disguise. He was promptly expelled from the Ashram, and printed leaflets were issued by the Ashram authorities, declaring unequivocally that the Sadhu was not Netaji. Haripada Bose was joined by others, including Satya Gupta of the INA, and they addressed public meetings, insisting that the Sadhu was no other than Netaji. The agitation gathered volume and became a threat to law and order, in certain regions of West Bengal. Prohibitory orders, under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, had to be issued, and there were some actual breaches of the peace. No less than 20 meetings at different places in the State were convened and addressed by Satya Gupta and his supporters. Uttam Chand Malhotra now entered the scene and began to play a prominent, indeed the most prominent, part in propagating the hypothesis which had been vaguely suggested by Radhey Shyam Jaiswal at the end of September, 1961, barely nine months earlier. In vain did the Ashram authorities protest and issue denials. Investigation by the CID and the Intelligence Bureau absolved the Shaulmari Ashram of any suspicious or clandestine designs. The reports submitted to the Government refuted the allegation that the Sadhu was Netaji in disguise. But these declarations and reports notwithstanding, Uttam Chand Malhotra continued to exploit the gullibility of a section of people who are prone to bestow their emotions on anything extraordinary, anything sensational concerning a great personality, be it no more than a figment of somebody's imagination. In the end, the Sadhu was obliged to leave the Ashram and seek peace elsewhere. But controversy over his identity did not cease with his departure.

6.18 To at least three persons who knew Bose intimately, the notion of the Shaulmari Ashram Sadhu being Netaji appeared so fantastic and so remote from reality that they did not deem it necessary to visit the Ashram and refute Malhotra's contention by personally seeing the Swami and hearing him. Suresh Chandra Bose, Netaji's brother, never visited the Ashram. Sunil Das (Witness No. 169), a political worker and a close associate of Bose for some years (1939-1941), was convinced that the Swami could not possibly be Bose, his political leader and mentor. He paid a visit to the Ashram but did not see the Sadhu. He, however, made enquiries which convinced him that there was no need to seek a personal interview. After collecting all information from various sources which he considered dependable, he came to the conclusion that the Sadhu was not Netaji. Shri H. V. Kamath's evidence, though of a negative nature, goes a little farther than Sunil Das's testimony. The question of the Sadhu's identity was posed to him also, and he was handed a chit which was said to bear the Sadhu's writing. Kamath was also shown a photograph of the Sadhu published in newspapers and magazines. He learnt that Shri Sunil Das, Shri Samar Guha and Smt. Leela Roy had made enquiries, and come to the conclusion that the Sadhu most definitely was not Netaji. He accepted this conclusion, and did not take the trouble to pay a personal visit to the Sadhu, because the procedure for seeking an interview was too irksome. It involved sending a formal application together with three photographs of the applicant. Also, Kamath thought that since Netaji knew him so well, if the Sadhu were indeed Netaji himself, he would not have asked for any photographs of his old political supporter and associate. Kamath said: "I knew Netaji so well and I thought no purpose would be served by supplying the photograph, so I did not send the photograph...I am sorry to say that I did not, I regret to say I did not feel it necessary or persuaded enough to go to the Ashram to have darshan of the Baba." With regard to the Sadhu's photograph, the witness said that though there was some resemblance in one or two facial features, the photograph was definitely not the photograph of Netaji.

6. 19 The motives of Shri Uttam Chand Malhotra are not obscure. He admitted to having organised the Netaji Swagat Committee, for which money was collected by inviting membership of the Committee and by the sale of papers, pamphlets, etc. He admitted that a sum of Rs. 11,000 had been collected, and though he stated that he had spent Rs. 16,000 in furtherance of the work of the Committee, it is difficult to accept the figure as accurate. There is, however, little doubt that Malhotra has been collecting money and, as stated by the Secretary of the Ashram, in an angry letter, Shri Malhotra, no doubt, took advantage of the fact that Bose had stayed in his house on his way to Germany and Malhotra had helped him and played host to him. Malhotra has sought to exploit this old association to the full and has, to a large extent, succeeded in doing so. Thereby he has attained a great deal of notoriety and publicity, and has, possibly, been able to benefit himself financially also.

6.20 The most convincing refutation of Malhotra's contention is, however, furnished by the evidence of Shri Dutt Majumdar (Witness No. 174). Shri Dutt Majumdar was engaged by the Shaulmari Ashram as Legal Adviser, and he had occasion to see the Swami several times. He came in contact with the Ashram first in August 1961, when he visited it to observe its cultural activity. Later, he was asked to conduct a number of cases in which Swami was involved. Some cases had been brought by him against Uttam Chand Malhotra. Hira Lai Dixit and others for making a false allegation about the Swami's true identity. There was also a warrant of arrest against the Swami himself. When questioned about the appearance of the Swami and his resemblance to Bose, Shri Dutt Majumdar was quite categorical. He said: "For the first time I had the privilege to see the Founder of the Shaulmari Ashram in the second week of February 1962. On that occasion I was asked by the Sadhu to stay on for another three days. I was very inconveniently placed this time. For these three days after having seen him I came back to Calcutta and issued a statement, a categorical statement to the press. I had stated among other things that he was not Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. This was my conclusion after having seen the Swamiji." The witness went on to give his reasons and said: "I have seen him sometimes doing gardening work, sometimes he invited me with the gardening implements and telling me to do this or that; at very close quarters, he was taking his bath in the coldest winter, about five or six times a day or even at the dead of the night. He was a very tall man about 6-1/2'in height. I am told that Shri Subhas Chandra Bose, as we all know him, was only about 5 ft and 9 inches in height. I do not know whether by exercises one can increase his height. Shri Bose did not have that height. The Sadhu was generally dark and black complexioned. He was far sturdier than Netaji with a much blacker complexioned look. Subhas Chandra Bose had tapering fingers. As I noticed the Sadhu, he had rough and ready fingers which resembled like a Brahmin cook's." The intonation and dialect of the Swami when he spoke were unlike Bose's manner of speaking. The Swami spoke the dialect of the Mymensing District, whereas Bose was brought up in Cuttack."

6.21 Shri Dutt Majumdar was questioned about Uttam Chand Malhotra's visit to him and to the Ashram. He said: "Netaji had his hospitality in Kabul, and I had his hospitality in Delhi and I found that like the Brijbasis of yore who would not believe that Krishna had left Vrindavan, my very dear and esteemed friend suffers from that kind of psychosis." The witness added: "Yes, it had come to my notice that Shri Uttam Chand Malhotraji had seen Babaji of Shaulmari Ashram, and immediately after his having seen Babaji, it was reported in the press, that Uttam Chand Malhotraji had addressed a meeting at Calcutta and proclaimed there that 'now that I have seen him, I have seen that he is not Netaji, he is a great Mahatma...But why afterwards he changed, it is more than I can tell.'

6.22 Shri Dutt Majumdar was questioned about the Shaulmari Ashram at great length and he repeatedly stated that the Sadhu was most definitely not Netaji. The Sadhu differed from him in several respects, his facial features, his complexion, his height, the degree of his baldness and his speech and intonation. There is no reason why Shri Dutt Majumdar's statement on this point should not be believed.

6.23 Satyanarayan Sinha is an individual of a wholly different calibre from Uttam Chand Malhotra. Sinha has had a chequered career. He has visited many foreign countries, and worked in many different capacities. By nature a boastful exhibitionist, he has adopted a flamboyant style in his speech and in his writings. It took four days to hear his long, rambling and often irrelevant statement, and the record of his deposition extends over 235 typed pages. During his entire stay in the witness box, he never hesitated to sidetrack the issue and make repeatedly evasive replies to unpalatable questions; he never felt abashed when he delivered himself of palpable falsehoods, nor was he ever embarrassed on being confronted with his own contradictory statements. At the end, he left the impression of a persistent braggart, a consummate though transparent liar and a wholly unreliable witness.

6.24 Sinha first came to see me at his own request on September 28, 1970. He had, a few days earlier, while seeking an appointment sent a statement supported by an affidavit and a booklet entitled Netaji Mystery, which he had written and published in 1966. In the course of his interview, he gave me a brief account of his life and activities, and made a request that his evidence should be taken in two installments, once at Delhi and once at Calcutta. The reason which he advanced for making this unusual request was not convincing; he said that certain diplomatic papers which he wished to tender in evidence were at Calcutta and some of them were in the custody of his friends there. These papers could not be brought to Delhi. There was also some material which he would collect from the library of the Parliament and from his friends, and this material would be available in Delhi. So, the first part of his statement, he requested, relating to the disappearance of Netaji could be made in Delhi, while the second part, relating to the subsequent developments connected with Netaji's disappearance, should more properly be made at Calcutta. Since a programme of sittings at Calcutta had already been decided upon and announced, I granted Sinha's request.

6.25 Sinha was the second witness to be examined and the substance of his statement is that he doubted the story of Bose's death in an air crash, at Taipei on August 18, 1945. He was determined to make enquiries and prove the falsity of that story. He had been told in Russian by a Russia, Kuslov, that Bose had been seen in a Russian prison camp, in Siberia, long after the alleged date of his death at Taipei. Sinha was able to persuade his publishers, Messers Blandfords of London to finance an air journey to Taipei out of the royalties due to him in respect of a book he had written. The ticket was handed over to him and he went to Taipei in November, 1964. There he met the son of Chiang Kai Sheik, and with his assistance, he made local enquiries. He was provided with the use of an aeroplane in which he flew over and around the Taipei airport, the alleged site of the air-crash. He made as many as 150 sorties, and during these flights, he took a large number of photographs of Taipei town and of the area surrounding the airport. As the result of his enquires and upon a careful examination of the photographs and flight data which he examined and checked, he came to the conclusion that there had been no air-crash at Taipei on August 18, 1945.

6.26 This is, in broad outline, the story of his enquiry and conclusions. Sinha went to Taipei in 1964 more than 19 years after Bose's plane is said to have crashed there. He had no first hand knowledge of the accident. He cannot be regarded an expert whose opinion would be admissible in evidence under the provisions of Sec. 45 of the Indian Evidence Act. I, however, propose to discuss Sinha's testimony because of the importance attached to his writings, and the emotions he aroused when he testified at the Calcutta Session.

6.27 The story narrated by him is simple enough, but when it is examined in the light of the entire statement made by Sinha and his earlier statements, as published in the Netaji Mystery, which he sent to the Commission, his evidence is seen to be completely false. The story is contradicted in every material particular e.g. the purpose and the manner of his going to Taipei, the nature of his enquiry at Taipei, and whether he was able to fly over the site in an aeroplane and take photographs and what material in the matter of documents and witnesses he was able to examine at Taipei.

6.28 First as to his purpose in going to Taipei. The story he stated before Commission was that he went to Taipei with the set and specific purpose of finding evidence to refute the crash story, which he had always doubted. So, he asked Messers Blandfords of London, his publishers, to buy him a ticket for Taipei. The ticket covered the journey London-Hongkong-Taipei-Calcutta. In the Netaji Mystery a wholly different story was given by him. There he had said: "For me it is a chance-luck that has landed me at this Formosa Island. My foreign publishers had sent me an air ticket for the Tokyo Olympics, which reached me in Calcutta after a month the games were over. However, I have availed myself of the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the regions of the Far East we know so little about...At Hongkong I had an option to fly directly to Tokyo or via Formosa. A friendly C.A.T. airline man lured me to a Formosa bound Mandarin jet and got set for my following the trails of Netaji."

6.29 Therefore, the story as given by the witness in the book he published in 1966 was that it was mere chance that took him to Formosa. He had intended to go and see the Olympic Games at Tokyo, and indeed it was only at Hongkong that he was suddenly persuaded to visit Formosa. In any case, the air ticket reached him a month after the Games were over. Yet, he gave no explanation of why he left Calcutta at all, nor did he say that the ticket was from London to Hongkong. If the ticket reached him in Calcutta, the starting point could not have been London. I wrote to Messers Blandford and asked them to inform me if they had purchased a ticket for Dr. Sinha in 1964 or at any other time. They stated in reply that they had never purchased any ticket for Dr. Sinha. This reply of Messers Blandford gives the lie direct to Sinha's statement, made on oath before me.

6.30 A third purpose of Satyanarayan. Sinha going to Taipei is furnished by a report and a photograph in the newspaper China Post dated November 27, 1964, which Mr. Sinha himself produced. According to this paper, Mr. Sinha was a member of the Indian Delegation to the Tenth Conference of the Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League, held at Taipei. The photograph shows Sinha shaking hands with Defence Minister, Gen. Chang Ching Ko. It seems that this was the real purpose of Sinha's visit to Taipei. When the matter was put to him in the course of his examination before the Commission, he denied that he was a member of the delegation, but admitted that the photograph which he produced was, indeed, his. If this version is accepted then the other two stories given by Sinha in the Netaji Mystery and in his deposition before the Commission are seen to be wholly false, and Sinha could not have gone to Taipei to make any investigation into the truth of the crash story at Taipei.

6.31 The contradiction between the story as stated in 1966 and stated four years later before the Commission is so fundamental that the two statements are wholly inconsistent. If the earlier statement is correct, Sinha cannot be believed when he says that he went to Taipei specifically to find out the truth about the story of the crash.

6.32 Again before the Commission, the witness stated that at Taipei hundreds and thousands of air-crashes had taken place on and before August 18, 1945 and that the story of the lone aircrash in which Bose died was contradicted by what he heard at Taipei in 1964. In his book, Netaji Mystery, however, he had stated, "there are no reports of any other air mishaps at Taipei except that one on October 23, 1944, in which Subhas Babu definitely did not perish. According to Formosa reports, there was no aircrash on 18th August, 1945." Again in Chapter 2 of the book he gives an account of his interrogation of Mr. Chuang. Mr. Chuang said: "This is the location of the only aircrash that has taken place in the history of Taipei."

"When was it?"
"On October 23, 1944 at 1400 hours, Tokyo time."
“Did the Japanese news agency reports not put it as on August 18, 1945?"
"It is not correct. There has not been any crash at Taipei besides the one I am telling you about."

The two statements are so completely contradictory as to be wholly inconsistent.

6.33 In his evidence, Sinha stated that he was provided with a small aircraft in which he made no less than 150 sorties over and around the airport and took dozens of photographs from the plane. In the book, Netaji Mystery, there is no mention of his having been provided with a plane. The photographs which he took and produced before me appear to have been taken from different elevated recognisable places on the ground or tall buildings. For instance, the photographs of the airfield were obviously taken from the hillock on which the Grand Hotel now stands, and the photograph of the town in which a plane is seen to be flying was obviously taken from the roof of one of the high buildings in the town. According to Netaji Mystery, Sinha did not know anyone in Taipei when he arrived there, but the Formosan Government was friendly, and two persons, Mr. Chuang and Mr. Tao, became his close associates in the enquiry which he had undertaken. It does not, however, appear that Chuang was able to provide a plane for the exclusive use of Satyanarayan Sinha.

6.34 Then, again, when we come to the question of witnesses interviewed and documents examined, there is complete contradiction between the evidence given before the Commission and the account narrated in the book, Netaji Mystery. On page 4 of the book, he says that the pilot of the plane which carried him from Hongkong to Taipei told him that there were thousands of tons of Japanese papers safely deposited in a far away cave. The pilot had access to them, and so, Sinha would be able to see them. The pilot introduced Sinha to Gen. Chiang Kai Sheik "and an informal meeting with him opened all the gates to the Japanese secret preserved on the island including their intelligence reports. I could observe, study, examine and take photographs of whatever I thought could have been of any value to my work." The narrative in the book makes it quite clear that Sinha did examine those papers and intelligence reports. According to his evidence before the Commission, however, the only investigation he carried out was flying the aeroplane to examine the site and to calculate the distances and time which must have been covered by Bose's plane if the crash story were true. From this material, he conclusively came to the conclusion that the story was false, and he, therefore, did not deem it necessary to examine any witnesses or to look into any documents. He did not even bother to enquire if the hospital had any records of Bose having been taken there and treated. Indeed, at one stage, he said that there were no documents available at all, and he did not meet any of the military hospital staff. When pressed to say whether he asked his friend Peter Tsiand to make available the hospital records, he made the astonishing reply: "No, I never talked about hospitals. As an air man, I talked about the crash and concentrated all my investigations on crash alone." As an instance of his sidetracking the issue and making wholly irrelevant statements, the following extract from his statement may be quoted:

"I calculated the speed of the sally bomber and compared it with the statements of the witnesses there. The distance between Singapore and Bangkok is exactly 897 miles and it took 5 hours according to the witnesses there. In the same way, I calculated the flying hours between Tourane and Taihoku. But the speed was accelerated. This was all to check up the statement of Habibur Rahman as to whether he was flying in the plane of Netaji or not. I checked up the flying speed, the latitude and at what time it will reach. Actually, I repeated the performance also on my return back on one of the planes. I did not touch Tourane. But I touched the nearby point and then I came to Saigon just to see the flying conditions of that time. I had to get the whole picture of it at that time. This was not enough at all, no proof of my conviction. There are other proofs also which I came to know on that particular day as to which were the Japanese bases in Formosa, what route they had to take, what plane they had to take and where they were scheduled to take and all that and also where was the suicide squadron based. There was another Admiral who was going to commit suicide even after the Emperor's orders. We had to see at what time did he take off and all that. So, we have to see the whole war picture. Seeing all these things, we have to pinpoint the war record, not from hour to hour but from minute to minute. That is how I calculated the speed of the plane as it is said in the book, how it flew from Tourane, when they had removed 10 anti-aircraft guns, how much load would be less and by how much speed will be accelerated. So, it is a matter of clear calculation."

When pressed to give result of his calculation a little more specifically, the witness delivered himself of a long diatribe which had nothing whatever to do with the subject matter of the inquiry, but which must be quoted in full to convey the true impression of the manner in which the witness gave his evidence and also the entirely spurious nature of his story.

"Will your lordship permit me to come to that map again? These Japanese fighting forces were a peculiar type of fighting forces in the annals of history. They are a very proud people. Until the end of July, 1945, they had no idea to surrender. Their military disposition was that. Here is Dairen. It is written as S. S. A. Ketai. That means it is Chinese-Russian. It came in dual control of both of them from that date, 22nd August. On that date, as to what was happening in this theatre of war, one has to take a rough idea. After the Japanese surrendered, all of a sudden, what happened in this theatre of war, in this sector which is the Manchurian sector, was that the army of Japan was based there. That is three-fourth of a million, 750,000 people. Here from the Russian side there were also arrayed the Far Eastern Red Army. Many of the Generals who outshone there were my colleagues, and if I had stayed in the Russian Army I could have certainly become one of the best strategists of the UCO or Blusher. There was a technique of warfare. Here the peculiar technique is: take the place in Manchuria. All of a sudden what happens is that on the 8th August, 1945, Russia declares war on Japan. Japan has made a mistake meanwhile. The mistake is that in order to defend not Burma and other places, but Okinawa, Rikyu islands or Philippines, they have shifted from here to there, certain units of their Kwantung army already, and this army which was left in charge of other Generals, they were not to the tune of the fighting etc. When Japan surrendered on the 14th of August, that is what the Japanese Cabinet have decided that they need desperately, very very desperately because one week ago they were saying: "Don't compare us to the Germans. The allies have captured their homeland. Our homeland, the Allies will never capture so long as we live." They were saying this. When as soon as those forces come here, heaviest fighting is going on. Japan concentrated every effort to fight here from 9th onwards in this sector and in this sector there is a key man of these Kwantung Army and the key man was Gen. Shidei who spoke perfect Russian. He knew this warfare and all those things - a very famous man. He was immediately asked to proceed from this high command where he held the post of Army Chief of Staff, "You go and immediately proceed there at the earliest possible and take command of this Kwantung Army as Chief of Army Staff." As soon as he was given this command, it was just a chance meeting that Netaji met Gen. Shidei at Saigon. Now from there both of them are flying to Dairen, because if you find, Your Lordship, here in Okinawa and Rikyu are based American troops. In Philippines there is MacArthur and also in Rikyu islands. There is one MacArthur's command on that day. This is dated 15th that a Japanese surrender team should start in Japanese planes from Kyushu that is here. They should fly in Japanese planes only up to Rikyu, and from Rikyu, they should go in American planes to Manila the same day. Now MacArthur is expecting on the 16th evening here this way. All these places are very well guarded. In Swato which is here, there is one British and Chinese army working with them. Now, for Gen. Shidei, when he is there in this place, he has to shake off all burden, and in speed, every minute counts and had reached there hearing the broadcast of this Russian advance. Port Arthur which is here which was just to fall but had not fallen on that day. When they received this message here, then Shidei, at once, leaves for Dairen. Other Generals are committing suicide, Harakiri, at a very large scale because a Japanese officer's life is not worth living, once they have lost the war. So many important figures - Tojo also tried to commit suicide and those who could prove useful to the country were devoting all their efforts not to allow the Russians to capture this Dairen. When this order was given to Gen. Shidei, he immediately starts from there and then unloads everything at Tourane. Those days when the Japanese plans are grounded, they had to find a way out. What is the word which you use - clandestinely, I mean that when you are just pressed all round by the enemy, you have to find out your schedule and everything has to be planned secretly and very successfully by manoeuvering and skillfully piloting you have to go through. Now when they reach Tourane, they leave also their ADCS and all that and if Habib-ur-Rahman was with Netaji Subhas Bose, he was dropped there because the plane cannot take so much weight and so many people and reach Dairen the same evening. Everything was dropped there and it is admitted that from Singapore to Bangkok it is 897 miles — five hours flying. They have to make at the most 5^ hrs. They cannot take more to reach Taipei that day because at 2 O'clock the team is reaching from there with the Emperor's command telling the suicide squadrons "You surrender." This is the order that some very high dignitary is approaching there at about 3 O'clock at Tankurku. They have to leave in any case before that time because MacArthur's people and his command people will be passing this way and if they see that planes are grounded why this particular plane is flying, they can attack it and they can get that down. Under these circumstances, all encircled by enemies two persons without their ADCs - a General is also about to have his ADC and Gen. Shidei is like that and he asks for no ADC. If you calculate the time, it will take 5 hours 35 minutes. From 5 O'clock if you leave here Taihoku, they reach here Taipei at 10 or 11 O'clock. Again it is in this side because the Americans who are based here will not follow the Japanese plane for a particular reason. They do not want to get involved with Russia in war because Dairen and other places - it is from Marshal Varsilovsky's record I am quoting - that they never wanted that any American plane should show up in the periphery of this area. Once there, the plane from Taihoku has taken off at 11.30 and it has reached Dairen. There is no other landing ground in between. It has to reach within 5 hours 30 minutes according to schedule. Oh the 18th, at about 6 O'clock in the evening, Gen. Shidei and Netaji both reached Dairen there. When these Americans after 3 or 4 hours landed there, they asked the airport: Oh, well, we have heard from intelligence report from Swato or from here, British intelligence, that Subhas Chandra Bose has flown. They said: What are you talking about? We have never heard this name in life. And so, in a hurry/by the next plane, that means after 2 or 3 days, Habib-ur Rahman comes there and there he is tutored by Japanese intelligence on that particular date. What has happened in the meanwhile to these people? Here the 4 Generals have surrendered to the Russians. And, on the 22nd of August, the Russians captured Dairen. Till they captured Dairen, Japanese are not supposed to disclose anything. They disclosed on 23rd. This is Domei Agency. They said: What are you talking about? Subhas Chandra Bose had died. There is no point in following him at all. That is just to save him. And this is the truth, Sir, up to that extent, which can be verified from the nationalist Chinese agents whom I interrogated there. And after this I located from the books on what minute and which plane followed at Taipeh."

6.35 The whole of this argument is sheer nonsense. There is no basis for the assumptions the witness makes, no substance in his reasoning and his deductions are not merely fallacious, they are nothing short of idiotic.

6.36 It is, however, not only in the story of his visit to Taipei that we find gross and irreconcilable contradictions but in almost every incident narrated by him. Even the date of his birth was not correctly stated in the curriculum vitae which he attached to his affidavit on 12-9-70, in which his date of birth is given as 14th March, 1913, but subsequently he said that he was born in 1910. This would not be a matter of any significance were it not for the fact that when Sinha found that some of the events to which he had animadverted in the course of his statement would not be consistent with his birth in 1913, he began to say that he was born in 1910, and the question, therefore, arises whether the events were invented in order to provide an air of verisimilitude to his narrative. In the course of his evidence, he stated that he was accused of taking part in certain political dacoities in order to obtain money for saving Bhagat Singh and others when he was a boy of 13 or 14 only. If Sinha was born in 1910, the dacoities must have taken place in 1923 or 1924, in which year Bhagat Singh was not even known. Bhagat Singh was arrested for throwing a bomb in the Assembly chamber in Delhi in 1929. He was tried and hanged in 1931. Sinha left India in March 1930. Sinha also says that he went to Sabarmati Ashram with Gandhiji in 1925, to Kashi Vidyapeeth and Shantiniketan from 1926 to 1929 where he obtained the Shastri degree. If he was born in 1913, he must have obtained his degree at the age of 16, which seems far too premature.

6.37 Reference has been made to Sinha's request to have his statement recorded in two installments because at Calcutta he wished to produce certain documents which were not available at Delhi. At the Delhi session, he produced a number of documents, and undertook to produce more which, he said, were lying at his home. At the Calcutta session, however, he failed to produce these documents, and said that they were in his bag at Delhi and had been stolen therefrom. Although at one stage he had stated that he had taken hundreds of photographs, he only produced 4 or 5 and gave the explanation that they were the only ones relevant to the inquiry. He undertook to produce more but did not do so. At one stage, he gave the explanation that they had been lost by the Editor of the Ananda Bazar Patrika to whom he had handed them over.

6.38 A few more instances of Sinha's strange conduct and the contradictory (and evasive replies which he gave in the course of his evidence may be given to illustrate the true nature of his statement. He said that in 1950 he heard from a Russian named Kuslov that Kuslov had seen Subhas Bose in Russia after 1945 but he did nothing whatsoever until 1964, when he visited Taipei, and on returning to India, published a number of articles setting out his reasons for disbelieving the crash story. He did not even appear as a witness before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee in 1956. On this point the following extract from his statement is significant:

"Commission - We will go to the story which you were narrating before we rose. In 1951, you told us, you had made your suggestion but you had not met with a favourable response for the reasons which you have stated. Thereafter between 1951 and 1956 when the Shah Nawaz Khan Commission was appointed, did you in your writings, in any article, magazine or book mention the information which you had received about Netaji Bose being alive and having been seen in Siberia?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Your Lordship, I took up this matter with Jawaharlal Nehru again in 1952 when I got elected to Parliament, and then I produced before the Parliament this particular map which is there. It is a Russian map.
Commission: This very map?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: A copy of this map and there was a case of privilege against me in Parliament when I could not finish my story and my wings were chopped off.
Commission: What were you going to say? Was it something about Netaji Bose or something else?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Connected with Netaji. It was like this that the Russians drove towards the South. It began in Berlin in 1940. So those documents came in my hand in Berlin for the first time where, if I may read three lines which have a bearing on Netaji’s...
Commission: Three lines from your speech in Lok Sabha?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Not from my speech but from the Soviet documents.
Commission: Can you tell me what you said in Parliament before the privilege procedure was applied to you?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: I said when the Communist benches were saying, "What is the use of placing our army in the north when we have good friends - China and Russia?" I stood up and said that this logic which they are giving is the logic of Moscow and Moscow has its territorial aspirations plants towards our country.
Commission: But you had not mentioned Netaji Bose's name?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: I had only three minutes' time to speak.
Commission: You did not mention Netaji?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: I could not.
Commission: Perhaps, you were going to mention it?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Yes.
Commission: We will proceed further. Then, what did you do, till 1956 when the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee was appointed in the matter of inquiring further into the disappearance of Netaji?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Those days there were other colleagues who had taken up this matter about Netaji inquiry and one of the Members is present here, my hon. friend, Mr. Kamath who had taken up this matter.
Commission: I know there was a demand and in response to that demand the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee was appointed.
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Due to that pressure.
Commission: What did you individually do?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: I associated with our colleagues' efforts to ventilate the public grievances that one inquiry committee should be set up.
Commission: Did you appear before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: No, I did not, due to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's rebuke.
Commission: You mean the rebuke which he administered to you in 1951 or on some later occasion?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: 1954.
Commission: What did he say?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: There was an open debate in Parliament after that, and then he asked me in a private letter. How many times I had been to the American Embassy and whether I was their agent or not.
Commission: Was it in connection with Netaji Bose?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: Netaji Subhas Bose's case.
Commission: So, on account of that rebuke you did not offer to appear as a witness before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee? When the report was published, it was obviously inconsistent with the information which you had received?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: 100 per cent childish report. I told Jawaharlal Nehru.
Commission: What did you do to question the correctness of the finding of that report? Now coming to your visit to Taiwan - that is in '64. But before that between 1956 and 1964 what did you do?
Dr. S. N. Sinha: During these years I was mostly on the Himalayan front, on the Tibetan Front, and there I was with our defences, so to say, defending that Siliguri sector in my own way and regarding Netaji and other things, though I had not shelved this matter in my mind, I was making preparations to be hundred per cent sure that the plane had not crashed, and there is some hand of Soviet intelligence in Delhi which is stopping this truth from coming out that Netaji was in Russian hands."

Another blatant instance of evasion is set out below:

Commission: With regard to the crash that took place in October 1944, what document did you see? So far you have told me that the PRO told you about it, and you also made a reference to a newspaper which you were not able to see. I want to know what was the document that you saw.
Dr. Sinha: He took me to a temple there, a Buddhist temple nearby where there were two Chinese, and he said that these were our agents posted here in Taihoku during the British days. I must tell you one thing. This Peter Tsian had lived in Delhi during Chiang Kai Shek's regime, as China's representative in Delhi. He knew Netaji also personally. So this man who was investigating for me about Netaji case, for him, Delhi affairs were not foreign or strange. So, he took me to that temple and brought two eye-witnesses of that crash which had taken place in 1944.
Commission: These two Chinese witnesses told you about that crash.
Dr. Sinha: About that one crash which had taken place in October, but no one knew about any crash which had taken place in August, 1945 at the Taipei airport. Commission: I repeat my question: was there any document that you were able to see?
Dr. Sinha: About the particular aircraft, later on, I consulted the facts on file and also about the Japanese suicide squadron which was based on Taipei, the date on which they flew, and all that. From this, I have volumes of material to show that not one crash but at least hundreds, if not thousands of crashes must have taken place on the Formosa island, and a few hundreds at least before the 18th, on that Keelung-Taihoku sector.
Commission: Were you able to get any documents from the old hospital or military hospital? Before that, I want to ask, was the old military hospital in existence?
Dr. Sinha: I did not go to any hospital or anywhere. As an aviator, I first investigated whether a crash took place or not. If the crash had not taken place, the question does not arise of going to hospital or anywhere."

6.39 It is clear from the above extracts, culled from his statement, that Dr. Satyanarayan Sinha has attempted to practise fraud upon the Commission and the public, by making false claims of an investigation into Bose's disappearance. His single visit to Taipei to attend the 10th Conference of the Asian People's Anti-Communist League, was exploited by him to arrogate to himself the character of a public-spirited man, deeply concerned with Bose and his activities. I cannot believe that he was provided with a plane with liberty to fly it as often and wherever he wished. There was nothing he could learn by such flights. His calculations about the duration of the plane journey between different points on Bose's route are sheer nonsense, and do not throw any light on what happened at Taipei on August 18, 1945. His whole conduct from the moment he claims to have heard Bose's existence in Russia in 1949, up to 1966, when he first gave publicity to his startling story in his book Netaji Mystery, is inconsistent with truth and natural behaviour. A great part of his statement was concerned with his antics in the field of diplomacy and Intelligence and his braggart claims about the nature and magnitude of his achievements. But whenever he was asked to state details about his work or his tours, he resorted to evasive tactics, by jumping to another topic and side­tracking the subject under scrutiny.

6.40 He began by saying that he was born in 1910. He went on to say that when he was a boy of 13 or 14 (i.e. in 1923 or 1924) he was accused of taking part in political dacoities to obtain money for saving Bhagat Singh. But Bhagat Singh was not arrested till 1929 and had not even been heard of before that date. In his book China Strikes Dr. Sinha stated on p. 15 that he sailed from Colombo as a stowaway in March 1930 and then he was sixteen and alone in the world. If he was born in 1910, he would clearly not have been 16.

6.41 In the course of his testimony he said he started studying Medicine in Vienna and went to join the Soviet Combatant Forces as a Staff Captain. Later, when India became independent, he was, he says, a plenipotentiary in Vienna, and the whole country was in his charge. Then he helped the Tibetans to remain free, and assisted the Dalai Lama to seek refuge in India. But his visit to Tibet was a private one. He went alone in the garb of a muleteer. This is just fantastic nonsense, reminiscent of the adventures of Superman depicted in comics to beguile the boredom of children and for the diversion of adults who are unwilling to make the mental effort for more serious reading. Even more incredible is his statement that a Russian named Kuslov told him in 1949 that he had met Bose in Cell No. 45 of the Yukutsk prison. He says he mentioned the matter to Dr. Radhakrishnan, in January 1951, and to Nehru a little later. Dr. Radhakrishnan told him not to meddle in the affair and spoil his career. Nehru's reply was "a sarcastic laugh".

6.42 These statements of Dr. Sinha are absolutely absurd and they need no comment. An adventurer in his youth and an opportunist in later life, moving from place to place and from job to job, he acquired the traveller's proverbial propensity and readiness to tell lies. The more his statement is examined the more convinced one becomes of its false and spurious nature. His coming to testify before the Commission was a piece of play-acting, aimed at drawing attention to himself and to borrow some, at any rate, of Bose's glory by professing to have a deep personal interest in his doings. The story of Bose living in a Russian prison cell and his refutation of the crash story by merely flying over the Taihoku airfield is not only palpably false but absolute nonsense invented to mislead gullible fools.

6.43 The third witness I propose to discuss is S. M. Goswami who distinguished himself not by his truthfulness or by a desire to help the Commission, but by his persistent, obstreperous, indeed, vicious attitude. He had nothing of any significance to communicate. He had no personal knowledge of any event or circumstance having a bearing on Bose's disappearance. He had offered himself as a witness before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee, and was examined twice. He wanted to present himself to make his statement a third time, and made an application in this behalf. The application was rejected and Goswami was directed to put down in writing whatever new evidence had come into his possession. He, however, did not do so.

6.44 He made an application to the present commission on 21.10. 1970, requesting for permission to appear and make a statement. At the Calcutta sitting on 16.11. 1970, his request was sponsored by Mr. Trikha, Advocate, who was appearing on behalf of Netaji Swagat Committee. Goswami pleaded his advanced age and the delicate condition of his heart as grounds for being allowed to make a statement before the witnesses scheduled to be examined on that day were called. I agreed to hear his evidence. He made a long and rambling but wholly irrelevant statement. He began by saying that he doubted the story of the aircrash and Netaji's subsequent death, because and only because, there was a delay of five days in announcing the event. He then proceeded to weave a web of non-sequiturs, circumlocution and prevarication in which he sought to capture a conjectural story of Bose's continued existence and activity at numerous places. A great deal of his statement was a plain unadulterated political declamation, bearing no relation whatsoever to the subject matter of the present inquiry. When his rhetoric was halted, he became vicious, and roused the large assembly of emotion-charged persons gathered in the hall where the public session of the Commission was being held, and instigated them to resort to direct and violent action in order to compel and intimidate the Commission to record his wholly irrelevant statement.

6.45 The sum and substance of Goswami's evidence is that he had began to entertain doubts about the truth of the crash story because of the delay on the part of the Japanese authorities in making an announcement of the event of August 18, 1945. These doubts were later confirmed into a conviction that Bose did not die as the result of injuries sustained in the alleged air crash, and is in fact, still alive. The additional factors which led to this belief are briefly these:

 

  1. Goswami was informed by a German, named Heinz Von Have, that no air crash took place at Taipei on August 18, 1945.
  2. Goswami spoke to the priest of the Renkoji Temple at Tokyo, and learnt that the box said to contain Netaji's ashes had been brought in a jeep by Ramamurti and some Americans. The association of Americans with Ramamurti was, according to Goswami, sufficient to contradict the story of Bose's death.
  3. Some observations in a report prepared by the British Intelligence which were inconsistent with the crash story came to Goswami's knowledge, when he read the Dissentient Report written by Suresh Chandra Bose.
  4. Goswami had been given the transcripts of three broadcasts made by Bose respectively on 19-12-1945, 18-1-1946 and 19-2-1946. This proved that Bose was alive after 18-8-1945.
  5. Goswami came upon a photograph of Netaji in a group of persons forming a Mongolian Delegation. The photograph appeared in a booklet published on 8-8- 1952. This photograph proved that Bose was alive in 1952.
  6. B. C. Chakravarty, a member of the Intelligence Bureau had given him information which disproved the crash story.

 

6.46 This evidence which is nothing more than hearsay and inferences from hearsay merits immediate dismissal without any discussion, because even a cursory glance at it shows it to be completely worthless and possessed of no probative value. But in the context of this entire enquiry and the passions it has aroused, it is necessary to convey a true picture of this witness and the real nature and purpose of his evidence. I cannot do better than quote some extracts from the record of his deposition relating to the various points enumerated above, as the verbatim transcript speaks for itself.

This is what he said about Heinz Von Have:

Question: Did you seek Heinz Von Have's meeting or did you meet him merely by chance?
Goswami: No, Sir, as a matter of fact Heinz Von Have and my office were in correspondence about business matters.
Question: You are in business now?
Goswami: I am practically a retired man.
Question: But in 1949 you went into business and Mr. Heinz Von Have was also in business in Germany?
Goswami: Yes, Sir.
Question: What business was he doing?
Goswami: Business in Batavia and all these places.
Question: What was the nature of this business?
Goswami: I think importing and exporting.
Question: What was he exporting or importing?
Goswami: I have not all these particulars. Perhaps he used to do business on machineries from Germany to various places.
Question: In what connection did your office correspond with him for business matters?
Goswami: As a matter of fact when I arrived in Germany, in Hamburg, he came to receive me and he took me with him...I was shown a picture of Netaji presented to Heinz Von Have in which it was written "To my friend Heinz Von Have, with love and affection"

A little later the witness said that he met Have a second time and spoke to him about Netaji. Goswami was asked what Have had said about Netaji being dead or alive. His answer was completely evasive, as is evident from the following quotation:

"Commission: What did he say about Netaji being alive or dead?
Goswami: Actually his life was saved by Netaji from the Japanese when they took him to be a Britisher or Englishman. Netaji discussed about him with Tojo and said that Have was his friend and a German and so please let him go. But in 1949, when I met him, he told me that the news about Netaji's death is stageplay. He was very much perturbed about Netaji because he was grateful to Netaji."

Have told Goswami that he had gone to Taipei and there he had met some German technicians who told him "...all we can say is that there was no aircrash - neither ten days before nor ten days after." No other witness has spoken about the presence of any Germans in East Asia or any German having gone to Taipei in August, 1945. In any event this is remote hearsay and third hand evidence.

6.47 Goswami went on to say that another place of information given by Have was that he met some people in a street in Tokyo.

"Goswami: In Tokyo he saw some Japanese holding a photo of Netaji and worshipping it or doing something to it and another batch of Japanese was passing that way and one of them said that these are all fools, the man is alive.
Commission: Anything else Have told you for his believing that Netaji was not dead?
Goswami: He heard from someone that Netaji was alive and the mouths of the Germans and Japanese were shut, and that is why the Japanese made no announcement of Netaji's death on the 18th August.

To admit evidence of this type would be to make nonsense of the law and rules of evidence and the canons of justice.

6.48 Next we have Goswami's visit to the Renkoji Temple. Mr. Goswami was asked what happened in the Temple and this was the reply:

>"Goswami: It is a very interesting story. I will tell you what happened. I saw the priest and asked him: 'I want to see the box containing Netaji's ashes.' Then he showed me the box. It was a box about 14" long and 9" wide and about 9" in height. Then I asked the priest, 'Who gave you the box? When did you get the box?' He said, 'On the 18th September.' Then I asked him 'after a month.' 'How did this box come to you?' He said, 'Ramamurti brought the box to me.' I said, 'How did he come?' He said, 'He came in a jeep.' I said, 'Who were the other occupants of the jeep?' He said, 'Americans.' I told the priest, 'It is very funny that Americans have taken so much care about Netaji's ashes and the funniest part of it was that in the box it was written with a fountain pen: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.' It was very clumsily written. I said, 'What about the white cloth? Is it the same as was given to you in September 1945?' He said, 'Yes.' I said, 'How is it that 8 years have passed. Do you mean to say that the whiteness of the cloth is still there and it appears to be a fresh one.'
Commission: Did you have a look inside the box or not?
Goswami: No. The box was all covered and sealed.
Commission: The priest said nothing more than what you have said just now?
Goswami: When I asked him what Ramamurti used to do, he said that he kept the box in front of him and worshipped it. When I said, 'when Rammamurti would come, did he close the doors and windows?' He said 'Yes.' I said, 'You are a priest. How could you see that? You must have peeped through the windows.' He got flabbergasted and shaky. He said, 'I was a Gestapo.'

The story of the broadcast by Netaji is described in the following manner:

Goswami: Netaji made three broadcasts. First one was on 19th December, 1945, just after one month.
Commission: Did you listen to this broadcast?
Goswami: No, Sir. It was recorded in B.B.C. and one of my friends, a Bengali gentleman, who was working there, was an officer - he practically told that.
Commission: Have you listened to the playing of the tape?
Goswami: No, it was recorded in B.B.C.
Commission: Do you know what the speech was about?
Goswami: Yes, shall I read it out?
Commission: Did you hear the tape being played?
Goswami: How can I?
Commission: Where did you get this note?
Goswami: It was recorded in B.B.C. London.
Commission: Your Bengali friend had given this story to you?
Goswami: Yes.
Commission: What is the name of this Bengali friend?
Shri Goswami: I hesitate to give the name. He has already lost his service when this broadcast was published in a Bengali paper BHARATBARSA.
Commission: We want to know how far this broadcast is the true broadcast of Netaji. You did not hear it. You have said that you have not heard it yourself. Unless you give the name of your Bengali friend we can not accept this evidence.
Goswami: Sir, the language is sufficient to give proof.
Commission: We cannot accept that. We must have a person who has heard the broadcast himself. Otherwise this evidence is of no value.
Goswami: Frankly speaking, when I showed this broadcast to Radhakrishnan, he told me, well Goswami, I have heard another broadcast, I said, how is it?
Commission: But you did not hear it. You said three broadcasts. What are the others?
Goswami: The other one was on 18th January, 1946 and the third one was on 19th February, 1946 and this is the fateful broadcast that upset the whole thing. Netaji's one mistake of putting one sentence absolutely shocked the British nation.
Commission: The Bengali friend gave you the typed scripts of all the three broadcasts?
Goswami: Yes.
Commission: You can give them to us. We will try to get copies and ask this Bengali friend to come and give evidence.
Goswami: I do not know where he is now.
Commission: So, you cannot help us to trace him.
Goswami: How can I go on chasing a man who may be either in Japan or London or in Switzerland?
Commission: When did he give you copies of the broadcasts?
Goswami: This broadcast, that gentleman of the B.B.C. came on a trip here. He gave the typed copies to his sister who retained it. Then from the sister some gentleman whose name, with your lordship's permission, I should not say because he is in another service and when he gave it to me and after it was published in BHARATBARSA, Magh, 1367 B. S. he lost his job. BHARATBARSA is a monthly magazine."

Goswami’s glib talk about Bose's one sentence being "absolutely shocking the British nation" is sheer nonsense. There is no record of any convulsion having taken place in Britain as a result of anything that Bose ever said.

6.49 The matter of the broadcasts was reverted to again, and Goswami was asked to give further details. His interrogation proceeded as follows:

Commission: Which year was it?
Goswami: 1945, and then on 18th January, 1946 and then on 19th December, 1946 - the most fateful broadcast which brought ruination of India.
Commission: But you did not hear any part of the broadcasts. Somebody in the B.B.C. whose name you are not going to disclose or whose address you do not know, heard them.
Goswami: Sir, Kamal Bose is his name.
Shri Majumdar: Do you know anyone who might have himself heard these broadcast talks.
Goswami: In 1945, the War was on. The broadcasts were made in 1945/46 if any one of us was listening to the broadcasts?
Shri Majumdar: Who is this Kamal Bose?
Goswami: He was the man who was conducting 'Bichitra' in London.
Shri Majumdar: Where is he now?
Goswami: I do not know. After this broadcast, published in BHARATBARSA, he lost his job. After that he was in Patna, I came to know. But I do not know where is he now.
Shri Majumdar: Is he living now?
Goswami: Must be living or dead, I do not know.

The strange case of the Mongolian Delegation was related in the following manner:

Goswami: I have this picture of Netaji.
Commission: Where did you get this picture?
Goswami: I will show you the original. This was from a booklet. This picture has been endorsed even by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Everybody in Parliament endorsed it about Netaji.
Commission: Let me see the booklet. (Booklet was produced before the Commission).
Commission: The booklet was published on the 8th August, 1952?
Goswami: Yes.
Commission: When did you get it?
Goswami: In 1953, while I was coming back from Japan.
Commission: You identify this figure in the centre as Netaji?
Goswami: Yes, not only myself, Panditji himself said in Parliament that it has a striking resemblance...........
Shri Majumdar: Did you receive this pamphlet from Hongkong?
Goswami: Yes.
Shri Majumdar: From whom?
Goswami: I received it in a shipping office where I went by a chartered ship from Calcutta to Japan, and there a gentleman, managing director of the firm, whose son, was working in China as a mining engineer. Got it from his son. While looking at it I found this picture and I asked for a copy of it. He said, 'Yes, but will you return it because my son might be in difficulty'. I said, 'All right', but I never returned it.
Shri Majumdar: Negative of this picture in the pamphlet would be in possession of persons in Peking who had taken this photograph?
Goswami: Yes.
Shri Majumdar: You have said that you are entirely convinced that the central figure in the picture was Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose?
Goswami: Yes.
Shri Majumdar: Did I hear you correctly to say that late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, while looking at this group photograph, said that this Central figure bears a striking resemblance to Netaji?
Goswami: Yes.
Shri Majumdar: Do you know if any attempt was made to trace the persons represented in the group photograph and to establish their identities?
Goswami: My first surprise is that the bone of contention of going to China they went only to Tokyo.....
Shri Majumdar: Your answer boils down to this: Nobody tried to ascertain the identity of the persons represented in this group photo?
Goswami: Yes. No one was allowed to go.
Shri Majumdar: Did you asked anybody in authority that the identity of these persons should be traced and established to make sure as to whose photograph the central figure is?
Goswami: I asked the Chinese Ambassador.
Shri Majumdar: When did you see the Chinese Ambassador?
Goswami: In 1955.
Shri Majumdar: What is the name of the Chinese Ambassador whom you met - if you remember?
Goswami: It is very difficult to remember the Chinese name, and moreover, Sir, my visit was very secret.
Shri Majumdar: Was it in Delhi?
Goswami: Yes.
Shri Majumdar: Please tell His Lordship what transpired in your conversation with the Chinese Ambassador?
Goswami: I wanted to know, because Netaji assumed the name of Marshal Liu Po Chen and I was curious to find out...I got the information that in Dairen Netaji met Mao and there Mao was placed in second position and Netaji in the first. There, without firing a shot or without any bloodshed Netaji organised an army with 10 lakhs of soldiers and they rushed to China and pushed Chiang-Kai-Shek out of Taiwan.
Shri Majumdar: So, you heard the name Marshal Liu Po Chen and gathered the information that he was Netaji Subhas?
Goswami: Yes, and I suspected so and that was why I told the Chinese Ambassador that in the Chinese Military history you have given description of all other persons in detail, but only three lines about Marshal Liu Po Chen and also told him that I suspected him to be Netaji. I asked him, saying that there is a row here about Netaji being alive and I know that Marshal Liu Po Chen is the name of Netaji. He kept smiling and said: 'If I tell then I may die any day.' He said, 'You pursue the matter - you are right.' He gave out this indication to me. Otherwise, how could I challenge the Government two years ago that I was prepared to take any delegation to the place, where Netaji was to be found? I have not come here to tell lies just to take credit, I am not a man of that type."

Shri J. P. Mitter pursued the matter further and questioned Goswami as follows:

"Shri J. P. Mitter: Who was present when you were talking to the Chinese Ambassador?
Goswami: Do you think the Ambassador will have another companion?
Shri Mitter: There was no interpreter?
Goswami: Yes, there was. He had his Private Secretary. He was a handsome man. Shri Mitter: Why did you say that there was nobody else?
Goswami: I mean that nobody else was there. If my wife was standing by my side, would I mention that I met the Dalai Lama.
Shri Mitter: You have enjoyed your joke. Please answer my question. How long did this interview last?
Goswami: About 10 minutes.
Shri Mitter: You only discussed that picture and nothing else.
Goswami: Yes and we discussed about Everest."

The information which Goswami claims to have received from Chakraborty was revealed in the following manner:

Shri N. Dutt Majumdar: Did you happen to know a person whose name is Birendra Chandra Chakraborty, a retired police officer?
Goswami: Yes, he is my relation.
Shri Majumdar: Did you happen to know if Biren Chakraborty, that officer, had anything to do with governmental enquiry regarding Netaji?
Goswami: Yes."
Shri Majumdar: Will you kindly tell the Hon'ble Commission the gist of the conversation Mr. Chakraborty had with you?
Goswami: He was with me for 4 hours in my office. I met Biren Chakraborty in the house of Col. Chopra. Col. Chopra was an IMS officer in Bangkok. Col. Chopra saw a rectangular wrist watch on Netaji. I went to Chopra and told him that Shah Nawaz Khan was insulting me and saying that I was telling lies. I went to Chopra's house. Biren Chakraborty was also there, and told him that he had got to come with him because Shah Nawaz Khan made me a liar in his book. On this the Government of India sent two men to arrest me. They approached Upananda Mukherjee. Upananda Mukherjee said, 'How can I arrest him because he has not said anything illogical?' Then they approached Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Dr. Roy said that Goswami has not said that this particular man is Netaji. I want to know from him. Then he said, 'I do not want to listen to you. I do not want Goswami because you want to make a fuss and set the whole of Bengal ablaze. You go away from my office. I am just telephoning to Shri Nehru that this sort of game should not be tolerated.'

Goswami worked himself up into a veritable frenzy and began making a demonstration of his importance to the excited audience in the hall. Shri Dutt Majumdar thought it necessary to sooth and calm him.

Shri Majumdar: Mr. Goswami, may I request you to restrain your emotion? We are all charged with emotion on this subject. So, restrain your emotion and help the Hon'ble Commission by giving precise answers to questions. I shall come to the photographs later. My question was, what is the gist of what Mr. Chakraborty had told you?
Goswami: I have already typed it very hurriedly because I had to go through it, correct it, print it and do everything. The gist of the whole thing is that these police officers who gave evidence here had no idea. He said, he was the main man in Burma, appointed by Churchill himself. Government of India had no concern. So, I know, all that has happened in Burma. In his opinion Shah Nawaz Khan was a traitor.
Shri Majumdar: What places did Biren Chakraborty visit? Has he narrated to you?
Goswami: Burma, Singapore and other places in this connection. He has given that.
Commission: When did he visit all those places?
Goswami: During the Second World War time, before the conclusion of the hostility.-
Shri Majumdar: Mr. Goswami, I am asking you about Biren Chakraborty, which places in South-East Asia he had visited and when, during war or after the war?
Goswami: During war and may be, no, it is not after the war.
Shri Majumdar: Which year would it be?
Goswami: Some time when Japan surrendered on 15th August. So, you can take it as before that. Biren Chakraborty did great work so far as India is concerned when he allowed 12 INA officers to escape for which he was subsequently suspended and did not receive his pay for 18 months and even after independence, that salary of 18 months as yet.
Shri Majumdar: Your lordship, I do not want to trouble the witness about Biren Chakraborty. If you are pleased to call him he will be able to enlighten us".

6.50 Biren Chakraborty, as stated in the preceding chapter was called as a witness. He made a detailed statement and the record of the interrogation conducted by him forms part of the record of these proceedings and was studied by me. It will be remembered that Chakraborty's statement is wholly at variance with what Goswami stated. Chakraborty went to Burma and then to Saigon, after the end of the war. He did not go to Singapore. His conclusion, as set out in the report, was that Bose had died at Taipei as narrated by Habibur Rahman. He was convinced of the truth of Habibur Rahman's story. Chakraborty said nothing about allowing any I.N.A. officer to escape, nor anything about his having been suspended and his salary withheld from him. Goswami's statement on this point is a tissue of lies, and Shri Dutt Majumdar thought it advisable not to pursue the matter further rest Goswami perpetrated more falsehoods and nonsense.

6.51 Goswami also produced two books which he had published. One of these deals with the mystery surrounding Netaji's disappearance, and in the other Goswami has sought to prove that no one ever climbed Mt. Everest. Numerous instances of his evasive replies and irrelevancies could be quoted. Often he made palpably false statements. Of this one instance will suffice.

6.52 Goswami had referred to certain newspaper items in his book dealing with Netaji and he was questioned about these reports. The following extracts from his evidence will show the true character of Goswami's evidence.

"Commission: You have only newspaper reports which you have published but you have no information obtained personally by yourself from anybody who has seen or met Netaji. These are only extracts from newspapers publications. You have only re-published news items which came out in the newspapers.
Goswami: Yes. One is dated 15th May, 1970, another January 7 - year is not given, another dated 29th August 1945, and another from London, dated 2nd September.
Commission: 'The Observer' dated 2nd September said that no news came out at all.
Goswami: Reuter news is there.
Commission: With regard to the last of the four news items we wrote to the 'Observer' in London and received a reply from them that no such news item appeared on that date or on any other date. So, tell us wherefrom you got the information. Have you got a copy of 'The Observer' of that date?
Goswami: It is up to the Commission to find it out.
Commission: Wherefrom did you get this information of Reuter's correspondent?
Goswami: I have collected from London.
Commission: But London Newspapers say that they have no such information. So, I am asking you to give us the original.
Goswami: I have incorporated the news in my book. Commission: But it is denied by 'The Observer.' So, I ask you to produce the original.
Goswami: Reuter should be asked. Commission: Where did you get it from? Goswami: Reuter's press news. Commission: Which paper? Goswami: Malaysian paper quoted it.
Commission: But 'The Observer' says that they did not publish it. So, the Malaysian papers are wrong.
Goswami: Sometime, Sir, suppose you get some adultery case there is no
direct evidence. Commission: That is for us to judge. I want to know wherefrom you got
the information. Have you got the Malaysian Newspapers?
Goswami: Yes, Sir.
Commission: Can you produce it?
Goswami: I shall have to find it out - it is not with me now.
Commission: Where did you see the Malaysian paper?
Goswami: In Rangoon. All these valuable information were shown to me by some people from their files, but they did not want to part with the files.
Commission: Where did you read and copy them?
Goswami: In Rangoon.
Commission: When were you in Rangoon?
Goswami: In April, 1954.
Commission: But one of these news related to the year 1970. How could you see it in Rangoon?
Goswami: That is the one which came out about Cambodia's affairs. Commission: Where did you get it from?
Goswami: It came out in a paper, Press Bureau. So, instead of asking me the question it would be better if you ask this to the papers.
Commission: I will ask them later on. Now I ask you from where you got it?
Goswami: I got it from the news report.
Commission: That one shows that you did not mention Netaji's name?
Goswami: Netaji's name is only known in India and not outside?
Commission: Netaji's name is only known in India and not outside.
Commission: It does not mention Mr. Bose's name either S. C. Bose or Subhas Bose. Then, of the four cuttings you have produced only one. What about the three other's? Can you produce them?
Goswami: I saw them in papers.
Commission: Now, here is another one and you say that you saw it in Malaysia, that is about Reuter's statement published in 'The Observer' on the"2nd September, 1945. You saw it in Malaysia and copied it out there in 1954?
Goswami: Yes.
Commission: Now, this is another, that is about 29th August, 1945, where did you see it, the American correspondence, where did you see it published. Have you got the original?
Goswami: How is it possible to get to all the press and collect them? Commission: Where did you get it?
Goswami: The papers are in the National Library. With regard to the American correspondence that is in the American Embassy.
Commission: In Calcutta or Delhi?
Goswami: In Delhi.
Commission: Be quite exact. Where did you see this?
Goswami: It came out in the papers.
Commission: Which papers?
Goswami: It is mentioned in the pamphlet.
Commission: The name of the paper is not mentioned. The news item 'USA contradicts' - where did you see it?
Goswami: I saw it in New Delhi. I think in New York Times.
Commission: Where did you find it, in which Library? Was it the American Library?
Goswami: Either in Calcutta or in New Delhi.
Commission: You cannot exactly remember where you saw it - in Calcutta or in Delhi.
Goswami: So many offices they have got.
Commission: So you cannot exactly remember whether you saw the New York Times in Calcutta or in Delhi.
Goswami: I cannot exactly tell you because I was merely a weekly passenger to Delhi for business. I think I saw from the American offices in New Delhi. I used to meet the Ambassador of America.
Commission: Have they the copy of New York Times of 1945?
Goswami: I doubt very much.
Commission: You got them. They must have the copies either in Calcutta or in New Delhi.
Goswami: Is it possible for a man of 72, now whose life has been wrecked over by books to collect all these copies.
Commission: It may not be possible but I want to know the source. Where you saw this? Are you sure that you saw the New York Times of 1945 in the American Embassy?
Goswami: In Delhi, so far as my memory goes.
Commission: You copied it out from there?
Goswami: Yes Sir."

Mr. Goswami's evidence was concluded on 16-11-1970, but the next day he reappeared before the Commission and insisted on giving additional evidence saying that he had omitted to make a complete statement the previous day. The political passion and the angry mood aroused by him made the crowd of listeners in the Hall clamour for Goswami to be heard. The people shouted, vociferated and besieged the staff of the Commission, threatened them with violence unless Goswami was allowed to make a statement. I agreed to hear him again. He started by making a wholly incredible statement:

"I inadvertently omitted to say something in the course of my deposition on 16-11- 1970 before this Hon'ble Commission. An officer of the Russian Army came on tour to India in 1956, after about 11 year's stay in the Soviet Union. In course of his statement, at Kapurthala, he informed the press he had an occasion of seeing Netaji in Moscow. He said that he saw Netaji in the best dress and entering Kremlin with high dignitaries on 24th December, 1956. On another occasion he had a personal talk with Netaji. Netaji told him that he was very anxious to return to India, but unfortunately there was no response from India for necessary arrangements for his return."

When this story of a well dressed Bose, publicly and openly, going to the Kremlin is compared with Sinha's version of Bose languishing in Cell No. 45 of a prison in Siberia, one wonders to what extent fantasy and perversion of truth can proceed. After a few more palpable untruths Goswami delivered himself of a long, meaningless and fantastic harangue from which the following passage may be quoted to convey the full impact of the persistent and vicious attitude of this witness:

"There is another big point. I know for certain how we got our independence and freedom. There were 14 items in the agreement. The first was - the Division of India was an accepted fact. The next was with regard to trade. It was said we shall maintain the imperial preference of 7per cent duty, as you know, with the British goods. There was another clause probably as far as I remember - in case of a dispute between Pakistan and India it should be resolved by British mediation. Sir, thirty pages of Abul Kalam Azad's Book have been kept in the National Archives for thirty years. Why is it so? I met Humayun Kabir in the Parliament House and also Maharaja of Bikaner who was sitting there. I said - Why not return those thirty pages. He said if it was in my power, I would have done that. Has Abul Kalam Azad left any will that these thirty pages should be kept there? Then he said - no. He spoke to me in Urdu - I am saying it in English. He took away those thirty pages. I did not ask why he did so. Lord Henderson in a dinner said - you know your Nehru was given a red carpet reception at Singapore. They have some motives and got the cards under the sleeves. Then he said - well, the image of Subhas is at the back of it. Leonard Mosley in his book, The Last Days of British Raj, described that in between the Bania Gandhi and Kalo Brahmin Nehru, the Shatriya Subhas has been sandwiched. I have got many other things to prove here as I have given in the booklet - Subhas Chandra Bose is in Cambodia now. He was in Hanoi right from the year 1953, and he is the man who fought against Americans. You probably know what bombs have been dropped on North Vietnam. That was also dropped in the Second World War. Robert Kennedy in a statement said that a superior force is behind the South Asian scene. Another thing came out in the paper Span probably in 1967. There is another important thing which I should state. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in a broadcast said, "You, my countrymen, do not accept it." Once a dinner was given and he refused it. Subhas Chandra Bose said, "My countrymen, do not accept the partition; if you do, you are finished for we shall never be able to stand in the near future. Do not succumb to the British conspiracy." And he said many things and the most important thing he said was, "I shall be coming to you in the earliest of 1947." This gave the British a heavy shock. Lord Mountbatten, in Singapore, got a very clear reception of this broadcast. He said this to the King. The king gave it to Attlee, and then a conference was arranged at Singapore in which Nehru was invited in the month of March 1946, and he was given a red carpet reception. I have seen in the Illustrated Weekly a picture in which Nehru is in the centre, Pamela and Lady Mountbatten are on his two sides. Another thing was that Lord Mountbatten broke the I.N.A. memorial at Singapore about seven days ago from that date. I do not know what was in his mind; but most probably his intention was to impress upon Nehru that 'It is you and you alone whom we consider to be the leader of India.' Abul Kalam Azad, in his book, India Wins Freedom, vehemently protested against the negotiations that Nehru was having in Singapore. In the meantime, Lord Wavell here said that India is made into one, it cannot be divided geographically, you Hindus and Muslims first combine and then your independence would be handed, and he fixed the date as the 18th of June, 1948, that means about ten months ahead but Nehru had a nightmare when he heard from Lord Mountbatten. Nehru knew, Gandhi knew, both of them suppressed these things from the country and Gandhi wanted his fostered Harrow boy to be the Prime Minister. When Nehru was made Prime Minister, Patel objected to it and many people also objected because Patel was the seniormost man in the Cabinet and therefore he should be given the chance, when Gandhi had to come to the rescue of Nehru and explain to Patel, 'arey turn bare bhai ho, chhota bhaiko samal lo.' I knew Lord Wavell and I met him in Ashutosh Collegeon the 16th August 1946 when the great Calcutta Killing was there. This poor man was then the Deputy Director who took advantage of his official position, approached Lt. Gen. Butcher and said, 'please help, please help.' He gave me armoured car, and said that he could not give me full help because his official order was only to patrol the streets. I said just give me an armoured car and let me proceed on it so that I can do some rescue work. I rescued about 25 to 30 thousand people and brought them to Ashutosh College, Jasoda Bhaban and other places. Lord Wavell visited the places and Lt. Gen. Butcher introduced me to him. The first question he asked me - how could you manage to rescue so many people alone? I said, Sir, I know things, and nobody was allowed to go and interfere in these matters. So I had to seek help which I got from Lt. Gen. Butcher and that saved the situation because he sent a contingent in St. Xavier’s' College and from there I started rescuing people. So this is the background of our independence. In the meantime, Nehru came back and was very busy to finalise the negotiations. Never for a moment, neither Gandhi nor Jawaharlal Nehru ever expressed that Subhas Chandra Bose had written a letter in which he said that he wanted to escape to India. On the other hand, on the 14th again, the draft was made in Singapore and finalised in Delhi, and nobody was allowed to go there and even Sarat Chandra Bose was refused. Once Sarat Chandra Bose used to have great respect for me and he said, Goswamiji, do you expect me to stay with them? I said, why did you join them. He asked me all sorts of questions and in that information paper, you can see after my article there is a small article of Sarat Bose, and when he was asked to comment on Subhas Chandra Bose, he said that all I know of my brother is that he is in North China. I said, Sir, that agrees with me because Subhas Bose's plane never crashed. Twenty-one year ago, Heinz Von Have told me this because Heinz Von Have when he escaped from Dehra Dun Jail was taken to Rangoon where he was captured by the Japanese, thinking him to be a British or American. He knew Subhas Bose and so he approached him. Subhas Bose at first could not recognise him but then when Have said that I am Have, he said, Oh, you Have, and then he embraced him and told the Japanese that he was a German. He had a discussion with General Tojo and let him go. He had a dinner with him and let him go. I will now give you another history. Subhas Chandra Bose arrived at Bangkok on the 16th. He had dinner with Col. Chopra that night. He saw a gold wrist watch in his hand. Here when Shah Nawaz Khan was having his own Commission, it was through my efforts that it was organised. It had to go to Kamath, Kidwai and other people and said, why are you pressing on this question of a fresh probe when you see that Nehru is reluctant to have it because he knows that Subhas Bose is alive. Then they said that they would bring the ashes. That was opposed, and then I gave that big picture to Kamath and he went inside the Parliament, showed it to all the members. He said that in the face of this picture how can we have these ashes.SoNehru was forced to order for an enquiry but the funniest part of it was that he gave the terms of reference as circumstances leading to the death. Tell me, Sir, if Netaji is dead, what shall we do with the circumstances? We do not care a straw for that and the slipshod manner in which this Mr. Shah Nawaz Khan held the Committee. First of all, he did not inform me at all, but then Shri S. N. Maitra, who was a distant relative of mine, met me and said that well, the Committee cannot do without you. So I was called and then when I told him that Col. Chopra had seen that gold wrist watch on his hand at Bangkok on the 16th, he said that Col. Chopra was not in Bangkok at that time. Next morning I met Col. Chopra and said that you have got to come with me and I brought him in my own car. And when Shah Nawaz Khan saw Col. Chopra, he said well, Chop, Chop, and I said, Chop is going to Chop you this time. So in his evidence he said that Netaji had a gold wrist watch whereas Shah Nawaz Khan gave a rectangular wrist watch to Sarat Babu as the last souvenir of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

He was whole day there, and on the 17th morning, left for Saigon. There Shri Subhas Chandra expressed his desire to surrender himself at a place called Dalat, about 10 miles from Saigon. It was the place of F. M. Terauchi. He said, we cannot allow the Britishers to take away such a precious life of Asia. It was found that Netaji was in F. M. Terauchi's house all these days at Dalat. In the meantime Americans and British had already been entering the area. So, that was a very critical time and F. M. Terauchi asked Shidei to give a biplane to Netaji and his body-guard. There was no air crash. I said 21 years ago and I say this now. In 1945 it was very difficult to get people in Japan. I asked an old man whether they had any knowledge of a biplane coming. From there they went to Manchuria. It was then under the occupation of Japan. I will repeat this - Hiroshima was bombed on 6th, Nagasaki on 9th and on the 12th Russian declared war on Japan. As I gathered Russia declared war against Japan because they said that Japan had 200 U Boats and the Anglo American will take possession of those boats. Then Japan surrendered. McArthur in his terms asked Japan to hand over Subhas Chandra Bose but the Japanese said they did not know his whereabouts and all that.

Anyhow, when Truman came to know about this, he ordered McArthur not to touch Subhas Chandra. If any action has to be taken against Subhas Chandra it is the British. Don't touch Subhas Chandra. From 22nd he went to Dairen. As soon as 30,000 Japanese prisoners arrived at Kobe, in the first ship, I was there in Kobe in the Orient Hotel. All other officers were in different hotels. I met one General there. I asked him, can you tell me anything about your release? Is it Chinese who did it? He said, Mr. Goswami, I have got great doubts. From the very day we were in the camp we were so well treated. Do you think it is done through second or third man? He said, may be because I have heard there is an Asiatic who is guiding Mao. From Manchuria Subhas Chandra Bose made three broadcasts and the last broadcast was so fatal when he said: I am coming in the early part of 1947. When he could not get any reply I put it to Dr. Radhakrishnan - for two years from 1946 he has been giving broadcasts but there is no response. When he read my book, he said, Goswami, this broadcast you show, I have heard Subhas Chandra Bose's voice. I said, Sir, how is it? He said, you see, I am not interested in broadcasts. There is a radio in my drawing room, and from the radio, the voice of Subhas Chandra Bose was coming - a most throbbing voice, as if weeping and appealing, "don't divide India; it will ruin us, Hindus and Muslims." In the meantime, he was taking guerilla training. In 1949, in a meeting at Dairen. Stalin, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mao-Tse-Tung were there and Subhas Chandra was made No. 1, Subhas Bose by his tactics occupied the whole of Chinese land. He became Advisor of Mao-Tse-Tung. There are several stories told to Dr. B. N. Dey by Chou-En-Lai sometimes as Liu-Po-Chen, sometimes as Chandra Bose.

Chou-En-Lai said that Mao was hot headed, that he might bring misery, a third World War. Immediately he ordered to occupy Hongkong. Chou-En-Lai was absolutely perturbed. He went to Chandra Bose, told him, 'Please stop it.' Chandra Bose, went to Mao. A greater hater of British he said, 'No, for diplomatic reasons we have got to do many things. If today we occupy Hongkong, the American 7th fleet, which is standing nearby, might bomb China, and there might be a third world war. If Hongkong remains in the hands of the British it will be a duty free port and China can do business." What was predicted has come true today. China is making crores and crores of rupees from Hongkong. He remained these up to 1955. Then he went to Eastern Tibet, an autonomous State, and there he organised the Liberation Army founded in 1949.1 think your Lordship has seen the picture in my book. I approached the Chinese Ambassador to identify the person in the picture. He said it was Marshal Lio Po Chen. I was convinced that he remained in Eastern Tibet and organised, and today, Netaji Bose's Asian Liberation Army has got four million soldiers. Mr. Griffith, eminent political commentator, said that in the world there is no army to match them. So simple, so truthful and so much for humanity that I have never seen. Everyone is given four hours of military training, rest of the time is devoted to making shoes, poultry and doing this and that. It is a self-sufficient country. Only raw materials come from China to that country. Netaji has established a heavenly kingdom on the other side of the Himalayas. There are hundreds of feeder roads, jeeps and helicopters. Eastern Tibet is the headquarters. Herr Hitler ran away in a submarine to Japan. He came to Mabu Rock - a 'no man's land' in Burma. In 1962, Subhas Bose was distributing two lakh pamphlets on the border, and on 23rd January in Raigunj, Asansol, Shah Nawaz Khan said when he went to Tezpur he came across a pamphlet which stated that the advancing army was not Chinese but the liberation army commanded by Netaji. Netaji's idea was to capture Assam, go through and surround the whole of East Pakistan and make a sovereign Bengal. But Nehru started negotiations with British and American - help us, help us. They came to his aid with machineries and everything. Subhas felt very annoyed. He said, 'We are going back.' There was unilateral cease fire. Nobody has heard about unilateral cease fire. When the Chinese were advancing and winning what made them change their mind and declare a unilateral cease fire? This is never to be found in the military history of the world for many thousand years. Since then he went back. Pakistanis feel proud that Chinese are behind them but no help was coming in the Indo-Pak conflict and Pakistan got defeated by the hands of General Chaudhuri. Biju Patnaik was given overall charge of NEFA where Netaji came. He asked the Air Force people to bomb the places. They refused, saying that until and unless order came from Delhi, they could not do that. It was connected with Netaji, so they refused. Biju Patnaik went there and bombed the places, and then Netaji gave the order -March. Then they captured Sela Pass, Bomdi-la, and came to Tezpur. Biju Patnaik, as overall commander of NEFA, was asked by Nehru to go to America for purchase of arms and ammunition. It is a very funny thing. Biju is known to me for several years but what knowledge has he got in respect of arms-and ammunitions to fight this liberation army? For a single person a plane was chartered. What that plane contained I want to know from the Government. Biju was given a diplomatic visa so that there may not be any question about the contents of the plane. Absolutely desperate, poor man ran everywhere to come to the aid of India. There was refusal, refusal. Netaji was a nightmare for Nehru. While I was presenting my book - Everest - Nehru said, "Why have you written this book?" I was very much attracted by the Government of India's 'Satyameba Jayate.'

"So, from there finding no place Netaji came to Hanoi when Ho Chi Minh took his oath. Robert Kennedy has already mentioned that he is there. I have omitted to mention one thing. During the Korean war in 1952 this Asian Liberation Army fought under the name of Chinese volunteers and there McArthur saw him and wanted to kill him. He was in Hanoi for 3 years and it was he and Hitler who fought the Americans there. 5 lakhs of soldiers were there in the liberation army- Originally North Vietnam had 20/30 thousand soldiers. America claims that they have killed about 2 lakhs of soldiers. Wherefrom these soldiers came? China or Russia did not give soldiers. They were all from the Asian Liberation Army of Subhas Bose, and so far as I know, the Americans started fighting in Cambodia. He was fighting there and he is in Cambodia now and I have said that openly. So, there is a very big game going on. But my point of argument is that when Gandhiji and Nehru got the information why had not they disclosed it to the country? At the cost of Subhas they wanted to rule. Go and see what Subhas has done - a single man has brought an heavenly empire on the other side of the Himalayas. One doctor who was arrested by the Chinese and was kept there in the hospital and the description he gives is wonderful. Mr. Griffith, the UNO's political commentator gives praise to the liberation army that there was none-to compete with them in the world. Sir, I request you that the 30 pages of Abul Kalam Azad's India Wins Freedom kept in the National Archives be brought out. It is not for Nehru's wishes that these should be kept for 30 years when the present generation will die and younger generation will grow up and they will forget about transfer of power. That there was a conspiracy at Singapore is evident from the fact that when Lord Mountbatten arrived in Bombay his first utterance was, 'I am the last Viceroy of His Majesty who is going to liquidate the British Empire.' Without any negotiations with Gandhi and Jinnah, the draft resolution was signed in Singapore, and in a close door meeting, the final agreement was signed. Then, Sir, Shri Mathuramalingam Thevar, the President of the Forward Bloc, went to Manchuria, has said before the Shah Nawaz Committee. As regards that photo of the Mongolian delegation when it was shown to Gulzarilal Nanda, he said: 'This is Netaji.' Jagannath Kolay also knows all affairs. He said 'Mr. Goswami, I now find why Nehru was absent-minded.' 'Why Sir,' I said. He replied, 'Because you have released this in the press and when Nehru saw it he became absent minded for 2 weeks.' So I make my submission that I know how we got our independence, and I am writing a book on the lines of Mosley's The last days of British Raj, where I will expose each and everyone. I know many things, Sir, I know also that out of 23 crores of Dharma Teja a very big amount was given to somebody. I will prove that 'hypocrisy thy name is Britain' and I will expose their whole game.

Another thing Sir, People have a very wrong impression that it was Mahatma Gandhi who gave us the independence. Jawaharlal Nehru made no contribution to our independence. But our first thanks should go to Herr Hitler who started the Second World War which paved the way of our independence. He gave sufficient money, arms, ammunition to Subhas Bose to raise a war against the British and with that he was sent in a 'U' boat 640 to Madagascar, and with that money, Subhas Bose formed the Azad Hind Force. My second thanks would go to Roosevelt. It is Roosevelt who made a condition with Mr. Churchill that unless and until independence is given to India, 'I am not going to give you any aid.' Then, in Bahamas in Miami, an agreement was signed by Mr. Churchill that immediately after the end of hostilities India will be made free. The third is Shri Subhas Chandra Bose. When in his last broadcast he said, 'I am coming', this frightened the British. Lord Mountbatten invited him and what a pompous show was made and Mr. Nehru's head was up and swelled. What he has done. He advised to tighten our belts. Please tell him that we are tightening our belts for the last 23 years. We have been reduced to skeletons. Sir, with due apology and if you do not mind I will say something about a medical theory.

Chairman: I would like to hear you about Netaji and I think that you do not look anything like a skeleton.

Goswami: Sir, a doctor from Vienna said that in every human being there is a male hormone and a female hormone. According to .the proportion of this hormone his character is formed. A man can behave in an effeminate manner whereas some females can behave in a manly manner. So I have Analysed that Subhas Chandra Bose has got 90 per cent male hormone and 10 per cent female hormone because of his kindness, his sympathy, his affection for humanity. My Lord, Dr. B. C. Roy had 80 per cent male hormone and 20 per cent female hormone. Rafi Ahmad Kidwai had 70 per cent male hormone and 30 per cent female hormone. But in the case of Nehru it was 80 per cent female hormones and 20 per cent male hormones. And, today, I can assure you that this man Subhas Chandra with 90 per cent hormones can capture India within seven days. I am now 72 years old and who knows that probably it would be my last evidence. I have taken much of your time and I thank you for this."

6.53 I have taken the liberty of inflicting upon the reader several long passages, particularly the last one, from Goswami's evidence as these passages demonstrate better than any argument or discussion the utter futility of enforcing the laws and rules of evidence and observing judicial procedures and forensic discipline in an enquiry which aroused deep and violent passions and destroyed the reason and the objectivity of many of those who participated in it.

6.54 Goswami's statement throws no light on the issues involved in the present enquiry. It reveals nothing of any significance, and the only thing it succeeds in proving is that a determined and vicious individual can inflict a great deal of irrelevant nonsense in a matter which is surcharged with political emotions and uncompromising personal loyalties. With this I dismiss Goswami's testimony as completely worthless material, possessed of no probative value whatsoever.

6.55 Another witness about whose evidence more than a word must be said is Suresh Chandra Bose, if only because he was Netaji's brother and was a member of the Committee of 1956, appointed to enquire into Bose's disappearance. As already stated, he disagreed with his two colleagues, and wrote a Dissentient Report which he published in book from. This Dissentient Report contains a long catalogue of Suresh Chandra Bose's grievances and the shabby treatment which he received in the matter of his residential accommodation in Delhi and his inability to have full access to the documents of the Committee's proceedings when he wanted to record his differing views.

6.56 Suresh Chandra Bose's testimony in the present proceedings was a long diatribe against Nehru and Shri Shah Nawaz Khan and a statement of his reasons for disagreeing with his colleagues. The reasons are for the most part a reproduction of what he had set out in his Dissentient Report. He had no personal knowledge of any event or circumstance connected with his brother's last journey, his arrival at Taipei and his subsequent disappearance in August 1945. His statement, let me say at once, is wholly inadmissible in evidence and has no probative value whatsoever. It is nothing more than the expression of his opinion, based on evidence before the Committee of which he was a member.

The evidence which Suresh Chandra Bose tendered before the present Commission was little more than a resume of what he had said in his Dissentient Report. Indeed, he had prepared a written statement to which he constantly referred during the course of his statement, although he was asked to give his testimony from memory and not from a document prepared at home. Therefore, his evidence is only the expression of an opinion. Such opinion formed by a witness cannot be used for the purposes of determining what took place. For, if Suresh Chandra Bose's evidence is relevant and admissible, all the more so would be the majority report of the Committee of which he was a member, because this majority report was based on the same material, and by the sheer logic of numbers - two against one - it would carry double the weight and conviction of Suresh Chandra Bose's opinion. In any event, the examination of Suresh Chandra Bose's evidence is a pointless exercise, because all the evidence on which he bases his opinion has been produced before this Commission, and in law and justice, an independent assessment. of this evidence must be made by me, acting as a one-man Commission to inquire into and report upon the matters referred to me, otherwise I should be abdicating my function and transferring the responsibility of making decisions about the credibility of witnesses and of formulating findings and conclusions upon their testimony to someone who is neither competent nor authorised to do so.

6.57 It has been mentioned in Chapter Five that on 30-6-1956, Suresh Chandra Bose signed a Note described as Points Agreed to. This note extends over three pages and was prepared in quintuplicate. Suresh Chandra Bose signed this document, and made an addition in his own hand on the first page. This addition can be clearly observed in the photostat copy of the document attached to this report. He has tried to explain this away in his Dissentient Report at page 178 in the following manner:

"The next point regarding a note made by me for my personal use on 30-6- 1956, in which I recorded the suggestion made by all three of us for the preparation of my draft report. Some of the highest officials of the land, having failed in all other ways to persuade me to sign the report of my colleagues and thereby made it a unanimous one, fell back on this note of mine as a trump card and tried their best to compel me to sign my colleagues' report, alleging that, I had signed that note, which contained a statement that said that after examining the witnesses, I was convinced that Netaji was dead...This note of mine has been printed at Pages 70 and 71 of the Report of my colleagues, and as it contained the suggestions of all three of us, some of those suggestions may have been of the nature of findings, but they were definitely not 'points agreed to.'

6.58 The reading of the document however, completely falsifies the explanation set out above. In the course of his statement before the Commission, Suresh Chandra Bose said nothing whatsoever about this document and gave no explanation of how he came to sign it. It is quite clear that this note was not prepared for the personal use of Suresh Chandra Bose as he says in his Dissentient Report, because it was prepared in quintuplicate and each copy was signed by each of the three members of that Committee. Nor is it correct to say that Suresh Chandra Bose was to draw up the draft report because at the end of the document it is clearly stated that the draft was to be prepared by Shri S. N. Maitra. It is clear that after listening to all the evidence produced before that Committee, Suresh Chandra Bose gave his imprimatur to the unanimous findings of all three members; but then he changed his mind. This volte face was a subsequent attitude, dictated by something that can only be guessed at or conjectured, but which must have been in the nature of some external influence or pressure exercised upon him for reasons that bore no relation to a desire to seek the truth. Suresh Chandra Bose had not discovered any further evidence after 30-6- 1956 which made him change his mind. He does not say that a researching of his conscience or a closer re-examination of the evidence led him to the conclusion that he had erred in concurring with his colleagues. So it must have been at the persuasion or intimidation of someone that he turned his back upon Messrs. Shah Nawaz Khan and Maitra and left them in anger. Thereafter, he complained bitterly of the treatment meted out to him in the matter of residential accommodation at Delhi, and of being subjected to what he terms "machination on the part of the highest officials of our Government." This was a feeble and wholly unconvincing attempt to justify his conduct in first concurring with the findings of his colleagues and then publishing a Dissentient Report.

6.59 The sordid story of an alleged offer of the post of the Governorship to Suresh Chandra Bose has already been discussed in Chapter Five and I have recorded my considered finding that this story is completely false and was invented by Suresh Chandra Bose to give a semblance of justification for his strange volte face, after expressing his concurrence with the findings and conclusions of the earlier Committee and signing a document acknowledging this concurrence. The fact of the matter would seem to be that Suresh Chandra Bose was willing to be used as a tool by persons, who for reasons of their own, wanted to proclaim their disbelief of the crash story, and who continued to assert that Netaji was alive and constituted a challenge and a hazard to Nehru's political position in the country.

6.60 This last observation of mine emerges from Suresh Chandra Bose's own evidence. He said in the course of his statement that Nehru anticipated that an enquiry into the disappearance of Netaji would definitely lead to the finding that Netaji was not dead. He, therefore, attempted to obtain a finding palatable to him, and appointed this Committee so that the Committee would pronounce Netaji to be dead. At page 726 of Volume II Suresh Bose is recorded as having said:

"Prime Minister Nehru anticipated that such an inquiry would come to the finding that Netaji was not dead which he knew to be correct. So, he would be proved to be a liar for having stated that Netaji was dead. Soon after this, a few leaders held a meeting in Calcutta and said that though the Prime Minister had declared that Netaji was dead they did not believe it, and so, they decided to form a committee with me as its Chairman to make an inquiry regarding Netaji. Shri Shah Nawaz Khan was in that meeting and a copy of the resolution passed in it was given to him with a request to hand it over to me and to persuade me to give effect to the resolution passed. So, on his way to Delhi he met me at Tarmatar, Bihar, and informed me all about it and told me that he would report the matter to the Prime Minister. Obviously, Shri Nehru knew that Netaji was not dead whereby he would be branded as liar and so he appointed a 3-man committee..."

6.61 The very fact that Netaji's own brother was selected to sit on the Committee proves the bona fides of Prime Minister Nehru. It is impossible to believe that Nehru expected Suresh Chandra Bose to pervert the truth against his own conscience. The fact of the matter is that it was Suresh Chandra Bose who later, under pressure or intimidation, resiled from the stand he had taken when he subscribed to the principal agreed points, set out in the document which he had carefully studied and signed, after adding a clause in his own hand. If Suresh Chandra Bose thought that Nehru was making a tool of him why did he agree to serve on the Committee, why did he not resign at once and why did he associate himself with that he believed would be a spurious enquiry. The right and honourable thing for him to do, when he was offered the allurement of a post of Governorship, was to resign. In conclusion I may draw attention to a clear misstatement made by Suresh Chandra Bose in his deposition before the Commission (vide page 754) of Volume II):

"Major Takahashi (witness No. 43) and Captain Yamamoto (Nakamura) (Witness No. 51) had definitely stated that there was no plane crash."

Both Takahashi and Yamamoto did state before the Shah Nawaz Khan Committee that there was an air crash and Suresh Chandra Bose himself admitted this fact in his Dissentient Report (See page 103 bottom and page 106-107 of the printed Dissentient Report).