Calcutta, Aug. 19: Calcutta High Court today directed three retired IPS officers to appear before the commission probing the July 21, 1993, police firing in which 13 Youth Congress workers were killed.
The court, however, added that the Justice Susanta Chatterjee commission would “not have the right to interrogate” the three retired officers — D.C. Vajpai, Nawal Kishore Singh and R.K. Johri — during their appearance. The division bench said the officers would “only describe the incident on their own”.
The division bench of Justices Pranab Kumar Chattopadhyay and Samapti Chatterjee said: “The commission will have to serve a fresh notification to ask these officers to appear before it and the said notification will have to be issued after taking depositions of all witnesses.”
Vajpai was the deputy commissioner (headquarters) of Calcutta police at the time of the firing while Singh and Johri were the deputy commissioners of south and north Calcutta, respectively.
Today’s verdict followed appeals by the three former officers against the order of the single bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta dismissing their petitions challenging the validity of the commission’s decision to ask them to appear before it.
The officers had contended that commission chairman, Justice Chatterjee, had no right to ask them to appear before him.
The officers had said that according to the Commission of Inquiry Act, no IAS and IPS officer could be interrogated by a commission three years after retirement.