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HC asks Maha govt to submit Pradhan panel report

July 24, 2009 01:12 IST
The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to submit in sealed cover the report of Pradhan Committee which probed government's response to 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

The government had not tabled the findings of the panel before the assembly during the recent monsoon session and instead presented an action-to-be-taken report.

Advocate V P Patil, who had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking action against top police and intelligence officers for failing to prevent the terror attack, had filed another application later, seeking a copy of Pradhan Committee report.

High Court on Thursday asked the government to submit the report within two weeks. Irked by the information provided by the government regarding post-attack measures, court also asked Chief of Anti Terrorism Squad K P Raghuvanshi to remain present in the court during the next hearing on August 6.

The court was told that the Anti-Terrorism Squad has 460 personnel, it has less than 200 bullet-proof jackets, and less than 100 helmets in its stock. The court also sought an affidavit from Chief Secretary Johnny Joseph as to why sufficient equipment and bulletproof jackets were not provided to the ATS till date.

An affidavit filed by the Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Chandra Iyengar said the government had created `Force-1' on the lines of National Security Guards.

However, the division bench asked how fast this new force would react if a crisis was to occur, to which officers present in the court had no answer. The court was told that the state security council -- formed after the attacks -- met recently on June 17, and discussed how digital technologies can be roped in for tackling terror.

The court asked Chief Secretary to explain what steps had been taken following this meeting.

"Affidavit (filed by Iyengar) hardly shows government's intention to provide security," the judges remarked. The court also asked public prosecutor Satish Borulkar if there was any truth to media reports that state was facing new threats.

Borulkar later made a statement that indeed there was a threat, but information was "unspecific."

The case's hearing has been adjourned for two weeks.

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