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Court Sets Aside Panel That Indicted Extra-judicial Killings

GUWAHATI: 

The Gauhati High Court on Monday set aside constitution of Justice K N Saikia Inquiry Commission that had indicted the erstwhile Prafulla Kumar Mahanta government for extra-constitutional killings of ULFA leaders family members.

The commission was set up in 2005 by the then Congress government led by Tarun Gogoi to inquire into secret killings in the state.

Justice Ujjal Bhuyan set aside the Saikia panel’s constitution saying two notifications issued in this regard violated provisions of the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952.

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, an Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader, had challenged the constitution of the commission by the state government through a notification on August 22, 2005, and another one dated September 3, 2005.

Advocate Rajib Baruah and Advocate General D Mazumdar appeared for the petitioner and the state respectively.

In its report tabled in the Assam assembly in November 2007, the Saikia Commission had indicted chief minister Prafulla Mahanta, and the then police top brass for extra-constitutional killings of family members of leaders and cadres of the militant outfit ULFA in Assam during 1998-2001.

The AGP is part of Assam’s current ruling alliance.

With the commission’s constitution annulled, its report tabled in the assembly may also be cancelled, legal sources said.

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