Decided on May 05,1967

B.P.BERI Respondents


- (1.) BY this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, the State of Rajasthan seeks to question the validity of an order of the Commission of Inquiry, respondent No. 1, dated the 3rd May, 1967, whereby permission was accorded to respondents Nos. 2 to 8 to inspect certain documents called by the Commission from the petitioner in the presence of the Secretary or any officer deputed for the purpose during office hours.
(2.) WE have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner at great length and have gone through the relevant portions of the papers filed by it. We are not satisfied that by the impugned order any of the legal rights of the petitioners have been infringed nor are we satisfied that the impugned order was one passed without jurisdiction or there was otherwise any apparent error on the face of the record so as to justify the exercise of our extraordinary powers under Article 226 of the constitution.
(3.) IT appears that the documents in question were requisitioned by the commission under Section 4 (d) of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 (Act No. LX of 1952), (hereinafter called the Act), and in complying with it any claim for privilege does not appear to have been raised by the petitioner, It was contended by the petitioner that while Section 4 of the Act authorised the Commission to requisition any public record, it did not authorise it to permit inspection of such record or documents by other persons. Learned counsel emphasised that the production of documents is one thing and its inspection is quite a different thing regarding which the Commission has no power. We do not find any merit in this contention. It is true that Section 4 speaks of certain powers to be utilised for the purpose of enforcing attendance of persons, their examination, discovery and production of documents or requisition of any public record but it cannot be overlooked that the relevant documents are produced for the purpose of collecting facts and evidence, so that the Commission may be able to perform its main function as a fact finding body effectively It can undoubtedly seek the assistance of all those who have volunteered to assist the Commission in the discharged of its functions pursuant to the general notice issued by it. We do not think the commission is precluded from seeking the aid of such persons for getting at the truth if it considers it necessary that the relevant documents should be perused by such persons. In the present case the Commission has taken the safeguard of ordering the inspection in the presence of its Secretary or any other officer deputed for the purpose, and it has also ordered that so far as Roznamcha entries were concerned, only the entries relevant to the subject-matter of inquiry will be permitted to be inspected and the rest would be kept secret.;

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