In an order that will in all likelihood be challenged in the Supreme Court, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday ordered the Centre to make public the eighth chapter of the Justice BN Srikrishna Committee, also referred to as the ‘secret note’.
Ruling that the people of the state should know what such Committees were doing, Justice L Narasimha Reddy said that the Report ‘was a pack of lies’.
The learned Judge also stated that a report prepared by the “front office of an MP would be more sensible that this mind-boggling Report, which is a pack of lies.” Justice Narasimha Reddy stated that the Report over-projected non-existent things and expressed that, “It was unfortunate that a retired Supreme Court Judge was associated with a report of this kind.”
“The Committee has spent Rs 40 crore of the public money for this mind-boggling Report,” the learned Judge stated and added that even a political party would have had hesitation in preparation of such a report. “Blatant,” he said and added that the people’s sentiments should have been considered.
Referring to the recent popular public uprising in Egypt which topped the decades’ old rule of Hosni Mubarak, the Justice stated that the Report should have taken the people’s sentiments into consideration. Justice Narasimha Reddy further opined that the Report will influence the decision of the Centre and ordered the eighth chapter to be made public.
The Centre had earlier argued through Additional solicitor-general Vivek Tanka that the eighth chapter should not be made public. The Centre has defended its decision not to make the eighth chapter public saying that this was a privileged document under Sections 123 and 124 of the Indian Evidence Act 1872.
The eighth chapter deals with administrative and other measures that the government would have to adopt and it has been authored based on reports and assessment made on the ground by the Srikrishna Committee members. The Additional solicitor-general had further assured the Court that the ‘secret note’ does not contain information which would be relevant to the general public in forming an opinion over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.