The Kolkata High Court today (Monday, the 26th March) ordered a temporary halt (for three weeks) to the earlier CBI enquiry it asked on 15th March, the very next day of the fateful incident over Nandigram killings. Taking cognizance of suo moto notice of the firing in Nandigram, WB, India; Kolkata High Court ordered a CBI probe into it and asked the agency to submit its report within ten days. CBI, after filing its initial findings, much of which was also anticipated and thereby reported in line with the process of investigational evidences in mainstream media, requested further time to continue its investigation. 

Since then, the people of India has been broadly informed by what went wrong on that day by mass media – at the hands of state administration, party cadre or even in other wrong hands as state administration claims. So if all these reports and video recordings are taken as evidences, the people of the country by now know what atrocities were carried on the villagers of Nandigram on 14th March, and who all was accountable for that. There’s been reports stating how those accountable tried to sabotage their evidences, which they successfully did in past in other instances when CBI arrived at the spot later. 

True, CBI did unearth few more evidences to corroborate those broader findings as reported in media over Nandigram. And true, CBI could do that only because it received its direction from The Kolkata High Court immediately after the incident. Media report again stated that in few earlier occasions, when CBI probe was ordered after few days of reported incidents, the probe didn’t help much to nail down the culprits because the perpetrators had enough opportunity and time to sabotage most of the evidences.  

This time CBI was more knowledgeable with its past experience of ‘fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’ and moved fast, the very next day of receiving the court order. 

This time too, in democratic India where the Constitution is held at the highest esteem, The Kolkata High Court order initially asking for a probe, or the public remarks of the titular head of West Bengal, Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi was put under the scrutiny of our Constitutional experts to check whether they remained within their statutory rights to do so, because law and order seems to be a state matter. And the state, who apparently is the culprit for that incidence in Nandigram, if media is to be believed, (and its party being a pillar of present ruling central government, to whom CBI reports, by providing external support as well) was not consulted to find out what went wrong and why and what punitive actions to be given to the guilty so that incidents like Nandigram don’t reoccur. 

Apparently, a suit to examine that right of The Kolkata High Court order of 14th March is pending with country’s highest court, The Supreme Court. 

Most of us, including I myself, happen to be naïve in matters of Constitutional matters. However as simple citizens what we know is the first duty of any state, more so for a democratic state, is to protect the lives of its innocent citizens.  

If above matters are looked from that angle and is indeed true, it won’t be wrong to say that the battle now seems to be between Constitutional uprightness in our Indian federal architecture, and innocent lives lost over Nandigram.  

Let’s face it – even if there exists a conflict in which scenario the Constitution does not allow The Kolkata High Court the much needed statutory power to pass an order for CBI enquiry immediately after it was reported without consulting the state administration, when the truth has been sort of out in the open, again thanks to the media; should we keep our Constitutional uprightness, or should we, again applying common sense and not getting into the jargons of Constitutional advice for such a scenario, try and provide justice to those who have lost their family-members. 

A retired Supreme Court Judge, in his article in The Times of India few days back said (quoting from Churchill, not verbatim here) justice should be more from morality angle and less from legality angle; more so for a country like India where many poor, illiterate people may not understand legal terms and their implications. 

I want to be an optimist like billion+ Indians. I would believe deep in my heart that we are changing for the better. And I would look forward to an early order from The Supreme Court (or if the need be even from the President’s office, who is empowered to protect our Constitution in its true spirit) requesting The Kolkata High Court to reorder CBI probe on Nandigram to continue at the earliest.  True, today’s court order wanted time to study the state filing; however what one fails to understand in that order is why another parallel investigation need to be stopped for three weeks now, as has been reported again in media.

If true investigation doesn’t happen irrespective of who carrries that out and if speedy justice is not delivered, I am sure that our original architect of the Constitution may be shedding their tears in their post-mortal life, if one exists. Because they could never probably imagine when they came out with this Constitution, in their wildest dreams, that the machinery of Government, who would do everything to protect this very Constitution of their vision of a future India can stoop to such a low level of moral values by debating on Constitutional provisions. 

I happen to be getting a feeling of being numb in expressing my feelings in word. Our visionaries could never think of a future developing India when the choice would be between protecting the Constitution or innocent lives. 

Sad but true, we happen to be in such a cross road today. And optimists as billions of Indians are, in case above facts are indeed true, we would believe that we would rise to the occasion and our authorities would take the right call, even if the sacrifice be a milestone in future history. 

Otherwise it would be billions of Indians who would state ‘fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me’; and unfortunate, painful as it may sound; that YOU would be our very own Constitution.

Just like killing innocents in the name of regional fanatism over Holy Scriptures are wrong, as Holy Scriptures never said that but few wrongfully interpret it that way; similarly stopping an investigation over incidence of the magnitude of Nandigram in the name of Constitution would also be wrong. True, today’s court order never stated that Constitutional empowerment being the reason for its order; and this article is based on circumstantial facts, and writer’s own interpretation (which may be wrong as well).

Today our country, India needs an answer, an unbiased just true answer, from our Constitution and its very own protectors on what went wrong in Nandigram on 14th March, and who all were responsible for that.

 

Hope we will get that soon, real soon.

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