The full press statement by the Constitutional Conduct Group reads as follows:

We are a group of former civil servants belonging to the All India and Central Services who have worked with the Central Government as well as different State Governments of India. We work towards fostering a civic culture bound by the ethos of the Constitution of India. As a group, we are not affiliated to any political party as we strongly believe in being neutral and impartial.

Considering the horrific nature of the riots in North-East Delhi in February 2020, the scale of violence, the loss of lives and the resulting communal divide between communities, we felt that an expert body should carry out a thorough examination of what transpired before, during and after the riots. This has become even more necessary as the investigation carried out into the riots by the Delhi Police has evoked extensive critical commentary in recent times.

We therefore conclude that a Committee with credible reputations in the higher judiciary, the civil service and the police would be best suited to contribute to an objective and fair understanding of the riots and their aftermath. We have invited the below-mentioned former public functionaries of high standing, with a proven record of public service and a reputation of rectitude to take on this onerous responsibility:

1. Justice Madan Lokur, former judge of the Supreme Court (Chairperson)
2. Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice of the Madras and Delhi High Courts and former Chairman, Law Commission
3. Justice R.S. Sodhi, former judge of the Delhi High Court
4. Justice Anjana Prakash, former judge of the Patna High Court
5. G.K. Pillai, IAS (Retd.), former Home Secretary, Government of India
6. Meeran Chadha Borwankar, IPS (Retd.), former Director-General, Bureau of Police Research and Development, Government of India

The Committee so constituted shall be called “Citizens Committee on the Delhi Riots of February 2020: Context, Events and Aftermath”.

This Committee’s task is to create a contemporary record of acts of omission and commission around the riots, and their aftermath. The Committee is free to formulate its own procedure. It will submit a final report twelve weeks after it starts functioning.

The Terms of Reference for the said Committee are as follows:
1. To inquire into the events that transpired before and during the riots, including the response of the state machinery in dealing with the violence, restoring law and order, and related matters.
2. To analyse and assess the response of the police in investigating the riots.
3. To examine the role of the mainstream and social media in spreading information, both genuine and fake, before, during and after the riots, and its impact on events.
4. To assess the civic administration’s efforts at providing relief and extending reparations to the victims of riots.

The Constitutional Conduct Group expects the Committee to be committed to independence, impartiality and transparency in its functioning, and to ensuring that it conducts itself with integrity, that all persons who engage with the committee are accorded dignity and respect, and that confidentiality of communications is protected.

Cover Photograph AFP

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