Focus Is On Completing Ratna Bhandar Probe Timely: Justice Raghubir Dash

**Bhubaneswar: ** As the Odisha Government has ordered a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the controversial Ratna Bhandar missing key issue, Commission Chairman Justice Raghubir Dash on Wednesday informed media that he has begun his job entrusted.

Talking to media, the retired judge of Orissa High Court informed, “Now focus will be on completing the task on time. Advertisements have been published in an Odia daily and English daily. One can access to it and know everything about the purpose of our advertisement.”

He added, “We have invited statements of all concerned till July 25 supported by affidavit. That statement can also be presented in Puri on July 25. Also the statements supported by affidavits can be presented before the Commission and also by post to the State Home Department.”

“After examining all the affidavits, we have convened our first meeting at Puri on July 30,” Justice Dash further informed.

Notably, the Commission of Inquiry has been slated to be completed in three months and submit report to the Odisha Government from the publication of Gazette Notification No 1449/C, Bhubaneswar, dated the 8th June, 2018 issued by the Odisha Home Department.

The Notification of Home (Special Section) Department mentions:

“Whereas it has come to the notice of the State Government that the key(s) of the Inner Chamber of the “Ratna Bhandar” of Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri are not traceable;

And whereas the State Government are deeply concerned about the issue and are of the opinion that, this being a matter of public importance, should be inquired into by a Commission of Inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.”

“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3 read with sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the said Act, the State Government do hereby appoint a Commission of Inquiry consisting of Hon’ble Shri Justice Raghubir Dash, a retired Judge of Orissa High Court, to enquire into and report in respect of the following matters, within three months from the date of publication of this Notification in the Odisha Gazette, namely:

i) Examination of the sequence of events and circumstances leading to the reported non-availability of the key(s) of the Inner Chamber of the “Ratna Bhandar” of Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri.

ii) The role, conduct and accountability of individuals/groups/authorities for the reported non-availability of the key(s).

iii) Any other matter connected with or incidental thereto as the Commission may consider appropriate including measures to be taken to avoid recurrence of such event in future.

”The Notification issued by order of the Governor also states, “The Headquarters of the Commission shall be at Bhubaneswar. However, the Commission may hold the inquiry at Puri or any other place as may be considered necessary for the purpose.”

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Justice Raghubir Dash, Chairman, Commission of Inquiry, Odisha


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