Punjab rejects Zora panel report on sacrilege cases; orders new probe
Terming it as "inconclusive", the Punjab government on Friday rejected the report of the Justice Zora Singh Commission and ordered a fresh Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh to investigate all cases of sacrilege in the state.
Chandigarh: Terming it as "inconclusive", the Punjab government on Friday rejected the report of the Justice Zora Singh Commission and ordered a fresh Commission of Inquiry, headed by Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh to investigate all cases of sacrilege in the state.
The government, through a notification issued by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice, has included all sacrilege incidents, including those involving the Bhagwad Gita, Quran and Guru Granth Sahib in the ambit of the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission`s terms of reference.
The new Commission, headed by the former judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, has a tenure of six months.
"The commission will also enquire into the detailed facts and circumstances and chronology of events of what actually happened and to identify as a matter of fact the role played by various persons into what happened in the various incidents of sacrilege in Faridkot and other places in the state," a state government spokesman said.
He said that the Commission will enquire into the truth of what occurred in such incidents and factual role of the persons who may have been involved.
"The Commission has also been tasked to enquire into the firing in Kotkapura on October 14, 2015 and village Behbalkalan, District Faridkot, in which two persons died. The Commission will identify and enquire into the role of the police officers/officials in incomplete/inconclusive investigations into the earlier incidents of sacrileges so far," he said.
The notification follows the state government`s conclusion, following the Punjab Advocate General`s advice, that the Justice Zora Singh Commission, set up by the previous government "has not answered the very substance of the reference i.e. an enquiry into the incident of sacrilege and the role of the police force".
Noting that there had been further incidents of sacrilege even after the establishment of the Zora Singh Commission, the Punjab government felt that the "matter is of utmost public concern and importance, requiring a proper and comprehensive enquiry".