Tuesday, 09 January 2018 | Abraham Thomas | New Delhi-
There was no fourth bullet or a suspected British hand in the killing of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. This is the finding of a report prepared by the Supreme Court-appointed amicus curie, Amarendra Sharan. Saran submitted the report to the SC on Monday in response to a PIL alleging a larger conspiracy behind Gandhi’s death. The PIL will be heard on Friday.
Sharan prepared the report on the direction of the SC, which sought his assistance as amicus curie to deal with a plea filed by Pankaj Phadnis, a trustee of a social organisation called Abhinav Bharat.
In his 33-page report, the amicus curie concluded that none of the allegations made by Phadnis relating to the fourth bullet, a second gun theory, another possible killer other than Nathuram Godse, and a larger conspiracy by British deserved consideration.
Going through the entire trial court records and the proceedings before the JL Kapoor Commission that dealt with the issue, Sharan said none of the allegations were based on any fact. The amicus curie was assisted in his task by two lawyers Sanchit Guru and Samarth Khanna.
“The bullets which pierced Mahatma Gandhi’s body, the pistol from which it was fired, the assailant who fired the said bullets, the conspiracy which led to the assassination and the ideology which led to the said assassination have all been duly identified.
“No substantive material has come to light to throw any doubt on any of the above requiring either a re-investigation of the Mahatma Gandhi assassination case or to constitute a fresh fact-finding commission with respect to the same,” he said.
This conclusion effectively puts the lid on the controversy which lingered on despite 70 years past the tragedy that took place on January 30, 1948. The report will be taken up for hearing with the petition on January 12.
The petition had cited news reports to suggest that four shots were fired at Gandhi. The petitioner based this theory on the possible presence of an unknown assailant at the spot of incident and the use of a second weapon other than the semi-automatic Beretta pistol used by Godse.
He further alleged that British may have secretly planned the murder of Gandhi under the belief that his continuation could help better relations between India and Pakistan, thus affecting British exports to the latter.
Sharan went through voluminous records running into 4,000 pages and concluded that only three empty cartridges and two spent bullets were found on the crime spot.
There was no fourth spent bullet or empty cartridge recovered from that place. Going further, Sharan pointed out that the fourth bullet was recovered from Gwalior, not Delhi.
This itself was sufficient to discount the fourth bullet theory. Additionally, he concluded that any attempt to attribute motive to a British hand was without any evidence or justification as at no point during the trial did advocates on both sides raise this possibility.
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