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Jain Commission Interim Report

Threats to Rajiv Gandhi and his Security
Chapter II

Sections 27 to 31

27. Malice | 28. Shri V.C. Pande's Note of 30.01.1997 | 29. Governance by foresight | 30. Silence signified satisfaction? | 31. Study of Alternative Security Scheme in Operation


42 A very serious question which requires very anxious consideration by the Commission is whether Shri V.P. Singh was actuated by malice, bias or animus in not providing security of such nature and level of as would have protected the former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi. On behalf of the All India congress Committee (I), Shri R.N. Mittal vehemently urged that the circumstances clearly go to indicate that the Government's decision in not providing that level of security was in fact actuated by malice in as much as no fair and honest consideration on Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security was given and the Government then in power made him vulnerable which ultimately resulted in his assassination. The background of relations between Shri V.P. Singh and Shri Rajiv Gandhi and all attending circumstances make out a clear case of such intention on the part of Shri V.P. Singh and his Government

42.1 During his deposition before the Commission, Shri V.P. Singh has elaborately described the differences which cropped up between him and Shri Rajiv Gandhi and the circumstances under which he was expelled from the Congress (I).During his examination on 4th October, '96, he deposed that:

"The allegation of malice, ill will towards Rajiv Gandhi on my part is absolutely unfounded. there is no truth in it. I had very close relationship with the family. I still feel a very high regard and deep sense of attachment and when she was assassinated, after that I felt it was my responsibility to make Rajiv Gandhi a success... I worked day and night in Finance Ministry for his success... I had one to one consultations with Rajiv Gandhi and we used to discuss matters even when I became Prime Minister. I invited at least once Shri Rajiv Gandhi for dinner and there was one to one talk...:

42.1.1 However, while deposing before the Commission on 13th November, 1996, V.P. Singh came out with certain serious differences he had with Shri Rajiv Gandhi. He stated:

(page 7)

"My differences started in 1986 on various contracts which were given by the Govt... One was the HBJ Pipeline..... That was one point of difference. There was another fertilizer plant.... which had overquoted its price... I refused to clear that project. ..... Then I had serious objections regarding purchase of Westland helicopters, when Shri Rajiv Gandhi decided to overrule me..... I was accused of raid-raj by one of the industrialists... and that found a sympathetic ear by Shri Rajiv Gandhi... I had confronted the various industrialists... with the evidence ..against them.... These were the things when I was transferred to the Defence Ministry..... In the Defence Ministry, I received a telegram... that the HDW cannot reduce the prices of the submarines being supplied because they have to pay 7% commission to an Indian agent..... I passed an order for an inquiry into the matter. I was called by Shri Rajiv Gandhi in his Parliament Office. he was very angry with me..... and that led to the first break-up and my resignation from the Cabinet.... after I had written a letter for enquiry against Ajitabh Bacchhan specific offer came that I should reconcile and can even join the Ministry and even get back Finance..... My expulsion from the Party followed may be a day or the same day ... there could have been no other reason for expulsion that my letter to Shri Rajiv Gandhi regarding Ajitabh Bachhan and that led to the break down of the relationship with him and Mrs. Gandhi's family."

42.1.2 The breakdown in the relatioship between Shri V.P. Singh and the Gandhi family was indeed serious and complete, so much so, that Shri V.P. Singh admitted (depostion dt. 12.11.96) that he had not visited Shri Rajiv Gandhi after Sh. Gandhi demitted charge of the office of the Prime Minister since he had never received any invitation from him. He also admitted that he had not visited the house after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi to pay condolences to the family but had paid condolences only at Teen Moorthy Bhawan, and that too, without his wife.

Shri V P Singh, in his deposition dt. 12.10.96 (P. 7) has attempted to minimise the rift by clarifying that:

"There was no political or personal animus. There were differences of opinion, but not animus."

42.1.3 Speaking on this issue, former Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narsimha Rao assumed a neutral posture and deposed before the Commission on 9th. May 1997 as follows:

(page 4)

"I would not impute any malafides but I should say that Shri V.P. Singh should have taken care and his Government should have taken greater care for the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. But I stand by what has been alleged in the AICC (I)'s affidavit."

42.1.4 My attention was invited by Shri D.D. Thakur, Counsel for Shri V.P. Singh, on para 27 of affidavit No. 36/92 dated filed by Smt. Rajendra Kumari Bajpai, the then General Secretary of the AICC (I). It is averred n the affidavit "that both the DMK Government while it was in State power and the Government of Shri V.P. Singh while it was in Central Govt power were fully in the know of things and connived in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and therefore bear a direct as well as constructive and moral responsibility for the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi".

In para 8 of the said affidavit, it was also averred that "following the assumption of office by the new Government, a calculated and determined effort was made to reduce the level of security provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. It was well known that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was at top of the hit-list of several militant groups such as the LTTE, Sikh militants, JKLF and other groups. Considering the high level of threat to the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the withdrawal of the Special Protection Group was an unwise and ill-advised move. In fact, there is reason to believe that it was a motivated action designed to expose Shri Rajiv Gandhi to security threats.

The level of security provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was wholly inadequate compared to the level of threat faced by him and his family. In para 10 of the affidavit, it was averred that "a reading of all what is said in para 10 will clearly show the magnitude of the concern expressed in various quarters about the unjustified, ill advised and motivated reduction in the security provide to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Shri V.P. Singh turned a deaf ear to the representations and, if fact, he ridiculed and caricatured the demand for security. He sought to project that Rs. 1 crore was being spent on the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi as if the level of security required could be measured in terms of money ignoring the quality and nature of security cover that was provided to the threatened person.

42.1.5 Shri Thakur submitted that the relations at the personal level between Shri Rajiv Gandhi and Shri V.P. Singh were extremely good. Differences did crop up but the differences in no way affected their relations. It is preposterous on the part of the AICC(I) to allege that the action on the part of Shri V.P. Singh and his Government was motivated, biased and actuated by malice and the AICC(I) has gone to the extent of making a very serious charge against Shri V P Singh and his Government that they connived in the assassination of Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

It was urged by Shri Thakur that the charge of malice stands negated by the circumstances which eloquently speak that Shri V P Singh in fact was very much concerned with the question of security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. He urged that the SPG was meant only for the Prime Minister and not for the ex-prime Minister. The SPG cover should have automatically lapsed after Shri V.P. Singh took over as Prime Minister. It was under his instructions that he allowed Shri Rajiv Gandhi to have the SPG cover till the matter is finally decided, although illegally taking personal risk. This conduct of Shri V P Singh amply demonstrates his state of mind.

It would be clear from such conduct that he was not vindictive else he would not have allowed continuance of the SPG cover the day he took over. He had expressed his concern to the concerned officers in the government that the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi should be fully ensured. Even in the Cabinet, he expressed his concern and said that money is no consideration and his feelings for Nehru-Gandhi family should be respected. It was not his individual decision. It was a collective decision at three levels. so, any such motive in such a situation cannot be attributed to Shri V.P. Singh that the decision of not providing SPG cover was a motivated and biased decision.

Reference was also invited to the view recorded by Shri R. Venkataraman in his book "My Presidential Years" where he noted that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was satisfied with his security and showed no sign of rancour or bitterness. In his deposition, Shri V P Singh also pointed out that for psychological satisfaction of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, SPG personnel be even transferred for his security. If a view is taken of all these circumstances, it should be found that there was no malice, bias or ill will on the part of Shri V.P. Singh so as to make Shri Rajiv Gandhi vulnerable to be easily targetted by the militants.

Shri V.P. Singh has also deposed that he has never been vindictive to any one and never uttered a word against the family. On the contrary, he wished Shri Rajiv Gandhi success when both of them happened to meet at the airport on the eve of elections. There was mutual respect. He had a high regard and a deep sense of attachment and after the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi, he felt his responsibility to make Shri Rajiv Gandhi a success and it is in this way that he could show gratitude to Smt. India Gandhi.

42.1.6 The other side of the picture is presented by Shri R.N.Mittal, Counsel for the AICC(I) and, according to him, in that light, the questin is requested to be examined. Shri V.P. Singh was holding the portfolio of Finance in the Government of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. His actions while holding this portfolio were not liked by Shri Rajiv Gandhi and differences cropped up. Differences arose on account of certain deals relating to HBJ Pipeline,fertilizers plant, raids on Industrial Houses like Lipton, Bata, Voltas, Thapars and relating to property of Shri Ajitabh Bachchan. In connection with his actions in his capacity as the Finance Minister, he has deposed that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was very angry with him. Shri V.P. Singh was given the charge of Defence Ministry and was shifted from Finance. There too, differences continued.

He then decided that it is not proper for him to continue in the Cabinet and that led to the first break up and the resigned from the Cabinet. An effort was made by Shri Rajiv Gandhi through an emissary that he should reconcile and join the Government and even get back Finance but by this offer, Shri V.P. Singh felt demeaned and then expulsion followed from the Party. Others like Shri Arun Nehru, Shri Arif Mohammad Khan and Shri V.C. Shukla were also expelled and according to Shri V.P. Singh there could have been no other reason for expulsion than his letter to Shri Rajiv Gandhi regarding Ajitabh Bachchan and that led to the break down of the relationship with him and Mrs. Indira Gandhi's family. Shri V.P. Singh formed another political party and became political opponent.

42.1.7 Shri R.N. Mittal submitted that so far as the question of security is concerned, the matter may further be viewed in this background that when election results started pouring in, there was some conversation between Shri V.C. Pande and Shri Janardhan Poojari. Shri Janardhan Poojari was Minister in-charge of the Ministry of Rural Development and Shri V.C. Pande was secretary in that Ministry. Shri V.C. Pande was with Shri V.P. Singh in 1974 when Shri V.P. Singh was the Commerce Minister,he was then Joint Secretary.

Again when Shri V.P. Singh became Finance Minister in December 1984 and continued till January 1987 and Shri V.C. Pande was Revenue Secretary from May 1985 to May 1987. It was he who gave approval for the engagement of the private detective agency, namely Fairfax which was headed by Mr. Hershman, an ex-employee of the C.I.A. Shri V.C. Pande was shifted to Rural Development by Shri Rajiv Gandhi by Which he was unhappy. Shri Janardhan Poojari was Minister of Rural Development. Shri V.C. Pande said that he had good relations with Shri Janardhan Poojari. In 1989, Lok Sabha elections, Congress emerged as the single largest party and Janata Dal was the Second largest Party.

According to Shri Janardhan Poojari, after 29.11.1989 and before 30.11.1989, Shri V.C. Pande met him in his Chamber. He was jubilant and was telling that Shri V.P. Singh and the Janta Dal have won. He was outspoken and he went on saying that Shri V.P. Singh would be the Prime Minister and he (Shri V.C. Pande) would become the Cabinet Secretary and he was also averse to Shri Rajiv Gandhi and said that adequate security will not be given to him. All these have been denied by Shri V.C. Pande and in his deposition Shri Pande said that he did not say so to Shri Janardhan Poojari.

The matter does not rest here Shri Janardhan Poojari went to Shri Rajiv Gandhi and told him what Shri V.C. Pande said in conversation with him. Shri Rajiv Gandhi was in hurry, so he asked Shri Janardhan Poojari to jot down what Shri V.C. Pande had said. Shri Poojari scribed the conversation and passed on the paper to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. that paper in the hand-writing of Shri Janardhan Poojari has been produced in the Commission and is marked Exhibit 202. This note has been assailed before me on the ground that it is a concocted and a fabricated note. In fact, no such conversation took place and there was no occasion for Shri Janarchan Poojari to have scribed such a note.

Shri V.George had appeared before the Commission and has deposed that this note we found in the papers of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Shri George stated that he was familiar with the hand writing of Shri Poojari and after going through the note guessed that it was Shri Poojari's hand writing. He then requested Shri Poojari to come over to 10, Janpath and showed him the note and confirmed that it was his note handed over to Shri Rajiv Gandhi personally in December, 1989. On his request, a copy of the note was given to him and the original was sent to Shri R.N. Mittal.

It is true that it is an unsigned note but the contents of the note have been testified by Shri Janardhan Poojari in his deposition. Shri Poojari has spoken very high of Shri Pande. So far as the conversation is concerned, Shri Poojari deposed that whatever transpired between him and Shri V.C. Pande was faithfully recorded by him. There was no reason for Shri Poojari to have concocted such a note.

On the contrary, the two features of the note, namely, it is unsigned and it is undated demonstrates and signifies its genuineness. Shri R.N.Mittal submitted that both the things turned out to be true after Shri V.P.Singh Government came into power ie Shri V.C. Pande became the Cabinet Secretary and the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi was diluted. Shri Mittal further submitted that when Shri V.P.Singh took over as Prime Minister, Shri T.N. Seshan was the Cabinet Secretary and Secretary(Security). Shri Seshan has categorically deposed before the Commission that he suggested amendment in the SPG Act sod as to cover the ex- P.M. Shri Rajiv Gandhi and under orders of Shri V.P.Singh, SPG cover was allowed to continue.

The minutes of the meeting dated 4.12.1989 and his note dated 14.12.1989 make it clear that till the matter is finally decided, SPG cover would continue for the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. But Shri T.N. Seshan was shifted from the post of Cabinet Secretary and similarly Shri M.K. Narayanan, Director, I.B. was also shifted from that post. From the deposition of Shri M.K. Narayanan also, it appears that he was for SPG if the law allowed SPG cover to ex-P.M. Although, according to Shri Mittal, Shri Narayanan has not fully opened his mind. Before the final alternative scheme was prepared, Shri M.K. Narayanan was shifted. The shifting of these two officers also suggest that those who were inclined to have thought of providing full security cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi in the form of SPG, were shifted from their posts.

42.1.8 Further evidence has come on record that some Ministers had complained that people thought that Rajiv Gandhi was still the Prime Minister because he had the same security paraphernalia and is continuing residing at 7, Race Course Road. Shri V.P. Singh, however, deposed that Shri Rajiv Gandhi could not be forced to vacate till alternative accommodation is approved by him and as regards security of SPG cover, it would be examined.

During his deposition before the Commission, Shri S.B. Chavan, former Union Home Minister stated as follows:-

Deposition of Shri S.B. Chavan dt. 15.1.97

"High profile visibility and its criticism from the State Govt. have gone into consideration for withdrawal of SPG as has been borne out from the Note dated 30.01.1990 of Shri V.C.Pande Exh.240. From the note is also clear that the Cabinet Secretary had issued instructions already before the approval of the Cabinet that security arrangements outside Delhi should be left to the State Governments,......"

Available evidence points out that it is a fact that some Ministers in the Cabinet of Shri V.P. Singh protested against the continuing SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi and his continuance in the PM residence; however, no names have been mentioned and no specific statement has been made. Deposing before the Commission on this aspect, Shri B.G. Deshmukh stated as follows:-

Deposition of Shri B.G. Deshmukh dt. 2nd April, 1996 (Page No.4-6):-

"In December, some Minister in the Cabinet raised an issue that Mr. Gandhi was still continuing in 5, Race Course Road and also had the SPG cover. This was creating a wrong impression in public mind...."

Deposition dt. 3rd. April 1996 (Page No.2):-

"....I do not remember the names of those Ministers. This complaint by the ministers was not the reason for the withdrawal of SPG."

Shri B.G. Deshmukh also wrote in his article, Exhibit 367, that some Ministers complained that people thought that Rajiv Gandhi is still the Prime Minister and many Ministers thought that the expenditure of Rs. 5 crores per year was totally unwarranted and the quantum of security cover should be restructured in the light of he being no longer the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary was asked to look into it.

42.1.9 In the note of Shri V.C. Pande dt. 30th January, 1990, para 5 categorically states that such a large deployment of SPG also gives a high profile visibility and is attracting criticism from the State Governments.' Shri V.C. Pande, during his deposition, however, has denied any personal knowledge of this fact and stated:-

Deposition of Shri V.C. Pande dt. 29.9.95.

"....that SPG gives a high profile visibility and is attracting criticism even from the State Governments. This view is expressed by me on the basis of a note by Secretary(Security)..."

42.2 Apart from that, also went public in expressing that Rs 75 lakhs are being spent on Shri. Rajiv Gandhi's security and it will be raised to Rs 1 crore as if the question of Security has been measured in terms of money and showed to the public that so much of amount is being spent on Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security.

42.2 .1 The All India Congress Committee (I) alleged before the Commission that the Government of Shri V.P. Singh took into account increasing expenditure in the security of Rajiv Gandhi was one of the factors responsible for the decision to withdraw SPG protection from him. During his deposition before the Commission on 26th April, 1994, former Prime Minister Shri Chandra Shekhar stated as under:-

".... Shri V.P. Singh's statement in the Parliament was published in media which was to the effect that the security is to be considered in terms of money."

42.2.2 This statement in the Parliament was condemned by the Congress (I) and the Congress spokesman M.J. Akbar, had categorically stated in the press that "for the first time, a leader's life is measured in terms of Rupees."

42 2.3 Shri V.P. Singh, during his deposition before the Commission on being asked that his statement that instead of Rs.75 lakhs, he was now spending Rs. 1 crore was to embarass Shri Gandhi in public and that SPG was an expensive costly cover and a country like India could not afford to provide it to ex-Prime Minister, replied as followed:-

Deposition of Shri V.P. Singh dt. 12.11.96

"It was not at all to embarass Shri Gandhi In fact it was to give a clear signal that my Govt. had full political will to spend any amount on Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security.

Shri B.G. Deshmukh supported Shri V.P. Singh and stated as follows:-

Deposition of Shri B.G. Deshmukh dt. 2nd April, l996 (Page No 4-6):-

"......Mr.V.P.Singh ....said that ... money is no concern and his relationship with Gandhi family should be respected.

Shri P.V. Narsimha Rao deposed before the Commission regarding this aspect on 2nd. May 1997. Speaking about the reply given by Shri V.P. Singh to Shri Kamalapati Tripathi on February 8th. 1990, (Ex. 279), he stated .:-

"What was the money spent earlier on on Shri Rajiv's security was not mentioned in Ex, 279. But what was being spent finds mention. The comparative picture has not come in the letter.

42.2.4 Had the comparative picture been depicted, then the position would have been different. ,The way the statistics had been been published shows only one aspect as to how much the Govt. is spending on Rajiv Gandhi's security. No public statement was made by Shri V.P. Singh stating that money is no consideration.

42.2 .3 Shri R.N.Mittal further submitted that Shri V.P.Singh knew the nature and quality of SPG cover and about its need to Shri Rajiv Gandhi after the assassination of Smt. Indira Gandhi and more particularly after an attempt on the life of Shri Rajiv Gandhi on 2.,10.1986 at Raj Ghat. The issue of Rajiv's security was therefore required to be examined in the light as to what nature and quality of protective cover is needed for Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

Shri V.C.Pande's note dated 30.1.1990, on the other hand, records that high profile visibility has been objected to an criticised by the State Governments and the security arrangements for the Prime Minister are suffering adversely. It was Shri Pande's proposal which was okayed by the Cabinet, as deposed by Shri B.G. Deshmukh.

Thus, the issue of Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security, according to Shri R.N. Mittal, was examined not with an open mind but with a closed mind so as not to consider the extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi even when the threat scenario did warrant. Thus, the consideration of the question of Rajiv's security was not an honest consideration. Further, there was continuous inflow of anonymous petitions stating loyalty of SPG personnel towards Shri Rajiv Gandhi and not towards Shri V.P.Singh. That too had influenced the decision of not providing SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

Reference has also been made to the speech of Shri Rajiv Gandhi made by him in the Parliament on Motion of Thanks to the Presidential Address (Exhibit 496) where he mentions that hatred is evident very clearly in the type of personalised politics.

According to Shri V.P. Singh, hatred had developed against him in the Congress Party as it was obvious from the way the Congress people behaved with him, as deposed by him in his public meetings and thereby personally he was very unhappy. Shri V.P.Singh also charged Shri Rajiv Gandhi as being a security risk to the nation. Such expression in relation to Shri Rajiv's Gandhi shows the level of feelings he had against Shri Rajiv Gandhi. About the relations between the two, Shri Rajiv Gandhi had an occasion to express himself in an interview which he gave to Shri Vir Sanghvi which appeared in 'Sunday' dated 12-18/8/1990 under the caption 'Time To Be Frank'. Here are the relevant extracts :


Q. Did you believe then that your Finance Minister was conspiring against you?

Ans. No.

Q. Do you believe it now?

Ans. Perhaps, yes.

Q. He was one guy you trusted implicitly, was not he?

Ans. The proof of my trust was what he thought was the proof of my distrust.

Q. What was that?

Ans. I moved him from Finance to Defence. I was in a most difficult situation. We had the confrontation with Pakistan in the lead-up to Brasstacks. The defence portfolio was with me. I needed somebody to hold tight there. I was having certain problems internally with defence.

Q. With defence or with Arun Singh?

Ans. The Official Secrets Act does not allow me to talk to you about them. Anyway, I wanted a senior Minister there. And I had not heard about Fairfax or anything till then. And I thought: who is the man I can trust with this and chose him. Then I discovered that he was very unhappy and I tried to explain to him: "Who do I trust the most to handle the most sensitive thing? It i8 a very difficult time and that is why I brought you here".

Under the heading 'Judging people', again Shri Rajiv Gandhi described his relations with Shri V.P.Singh. This part of the interview is as under:


Q. V.P. Singh was your Finance Minister. You backed him. He resigned and had what he described as a "Vishwanath-to-Rajiv" chat. He came out of that and said you were his leader and he was your supporter. Six months later, he was calling you "Bofors ka dalal". What made him change his mind?

Ans. I just don't understand. After he had a good talk,he was very emotional. He gave me a big hug and all that

Q. Tears in the eyes, etc.

Ans. (Nods) He was very emotional and I thought we'd really sorted out most of the problems. Nothing serious remained. And then suddenly, 'he went off on a tangent again'. If you ask me, I still do not know what the problem was.

Q. You don't think that he wanted to become Prime Minister all along and you just were not bright enough to see it ?

Ans. Perhaps, I just don't know. That is a very difficult question for me to answer.

Q. You are a pretty bad judge of people, are not you ? Look at what you called your "A-team"? In three years, Arun Nehru, Arun Singh and V.P. Singh had fallen out with You and quit.

Ans. You must remember that I was called on to judge people when I had no background. It was not as if you had chosen somebody who was in politics, who had been in the system for ten years or whatever. I had been involved for a very short time and I was not even in the system. I was in the party. So I had no personal assessment of people. That was part of the problem. And I had no experience of how people react to power; what changes can come; what are the indicators to keep track of. Or how much each indication means.

Q. Do you know now ?

Ans. Much better, I think. But I do not know. Does anybody ever really know ? One thing that went wrong then was that people found it very difficult to cope with the amount of power they had. And that was the problem, you see. I tried to pull back a little bit. Rein in a little bit. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it had an adverse reaction. I made mistakes. Perhaps I was just clumsy. Or maybe I needed more finesse. I do not know".

42 .3.1 Looking to the contents of the above interview, it would appear that the relations were not happy and cordial between the two.

42.3.2 Prof. K.K.Tewary invited my attention to the Report of the Commission of Justice M.P.Thakkar and Justice S.Natarajan in connection with the engagement of Fairfax, a private detective agency in America. The Hon'ble Judges were very critical of the engagement of that agency and have opined that it was not in the national interest. The Learned Judges have gone into several questions of the engagement of that agency by Shri V.P.Singh and the then Revenue Secretary, Shri V.C.Pande and the then Director of Enforcement Shri Bhure Lal.

The intentions of Shri V.P. Singh appears to be clear that he was engaged in destabilisation of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and the Government headed by him even when he was the Finance Minister in his Government. The Report speaks a lot about Shri V.P. Singh's mind and that mind ultimately finds reflection in deliberate dilution of Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security when he headed the Government after the General Elections in 1989. That Commission also considered Dr Harris Harshman'sconnections with CIA and other Federal Agencies.

42.4 Shri R.N. Mittal pointed out that Shri V P Singh was involved right from the day he was sworn in as Prime Minister on 2.12.1989 in the matter of Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security. It was under his verbal orders that SPG was allowed to continue to Rajiv Gandhi despite demitting of officeUnder his orders, the matter was taken up by the then Cabinet Secretary Shri T.N. Seshan. Shri Seshan's two notes make it abundantly clear as to how SPG protection could be given to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. His note dated 14.12.1989 was marked to the Prime Minister.

When this note went to the Prime Minister's office, the Additional Secretary Shri R. Vasudevan made a note on it and thereafter Shri B.G. Deshmukh also appended his note to the note of Shri R Vasudevan. Their notes along with the note of Shri T.N. Seshan were put up before the Prime Minister who remarked on the two notes of the P.M.O.for putting up the matter before the Cabinet on 2.1.1990. He had not expressed any view either on the notes of Shri R. Vasudevan or Shri B.G. Deshmukh or on the note of Shri T.N. Seshan. Shri T.N. Seshan's note of 14.12.1989 explicitly recorded that modifications in the security and level of protection of Shri Rajiv Gandhi would be made on receipt of threat assessment reports from the intelligence agencies. This aspect did not go into consideration.

Despite that, the Prime Minister ordered the matter to be put up before the Cabinet. By that time, no one had any occasion to look into the threat assessment report of the IB as the same was sent only on 3.1.1990 and that too not to the PMO and not even to the Secretary(Security). Secretary(Security) had called a security meeting on 4.1.1990. The note of Shri T.N. Seshan of 14.12.1990 came to Secretary(Security) with an endorsement by Shri R. Vasudevan that PM has desired to put up the matter before the Cabinet. In view thereof, the security meeting was called on 1.1990 and a draft note for the Cabinet was prepared on 5.1.1990 which was approved by the Cabinet Secretary on 9.1.1990 and the Prime Minister approved on 18.1.1990.

Even at the time of approving the draft note, no threat assessment reports or threat inputs were placed before the Prime Minister nor he asked for them. Without looking into the threat assessment reports or without asking such threat assessment reports, the draft Cabinet Note was approved. The draft Cabinet Note nowhere recorded that even having regard to the threat scenario of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, SPG cover need not be extended to him and no amendment to the SPG Act is needed. The note did not record how the matter was dealt with by the then Cabinet Secretary Shri T.N. Seshan in his note of 14.12.1989. Thus, there was no other material before the Cabinet except the Note for the Cabinet.

The question of Rajiv's security was considered by the Cabinet without taking into account the entire material, more particularly the notes of Shri T.N. Seshan, three notes of the P.M.O., namely, Shri Bhure Lal, Shri R. Vasudevan and Shri B.G. Deshmukh and also the note of Shri K.R. Venugopal dated 30.1.1990. The notes undoubtedly were meant for the Prime Minister and they were not meant for circulation but they contained the views of these senior bureaucrats. In order to have full deliberation on the subject, the members of the Council of Ministers were required to be apprised of the views of the senior bureaucrats of different levels.

I may record here that Shri V.C. Pande, the then Cabinet Secretary also prepared a note on 30.1.1990 marked to the prime Minister. The considerations made by him in his note were totally different. he talked about the high profile visibility on account of SPG deployment and its criticism by the State Governments which consideration was not there in all other notes or minutes of the security meeting. Shri B.G. Deshmukh has deposed that there was a meeting in the first week of January, 1990. Shri V.C. Pande brought a proposal to provide security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. In consultation with IB, security can be provided by Delhi Police in Delhi and by the State Administrations and IB outside Delhi. This proposal was discussed in that meeting with the Prime Minister It was not a Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet Secretary Shri V.C. Pande, himself, Director IB, home Secretary and Secretary (R) were present in that meeting.

It may be mentioned here that Shri M.K. Narayanan was already shifted on 28.12.1989 from the . Director, IB and the Additional Director IB Shri V.G. Vaidya was looking after the IB.

Shri Deshmukh further deposed that Shri V.C. Pande held a meeting earlier in the Cabinet Secretariat. Thereafter this meeting was held in the Prime Minieter's room and the decision was that this matter should be brought before the Cabinet. Shri V.C. Pande's proposal was okayed by the Cabinet as the same was mentioned by him in the Cabinet. Thus, according to Shri Deshmukh, a proposal was already thought of and the same was conveyed to the Prime Minister. No objection to any such proposal appears to have been made by Shri V.P. Singh.

On the contrary, he expressed that the matter may be brought before the Cabinet. This meeting must be earlier to his making a remark on the notes of the two officers in the PMO. Shri B.G. Deshmukh has gone on record to state that Shri V.P. Singh mentioned in that meeting that he has already asked the matter to be put up before the Cabinet on the note of Shri T.N. Seshan on 14.12.1989 in respect of which some views were expressed by the Additional Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister in the PMO.

Shri V.P. Singh does not recall that any meeting had taken place on or about 10.12.1989 with Shri T.N. Seshan, Shri B.G. Deshmukh and the Director, IB nor he makes mention of the meeting by the Cabinet Secretary as deposed to by Shri B.G. Deshmukh. Both Shri T.N. Seshan and Shri B.G. Deshmukh have categorically gone on record about these two meetings. There are no reasons not to their versions about these two meetings. Thus, from Shri B.G. Deshmukh's statement, it would appear that the question of extension of SPG cover was nowhere under consideration and what was under consideration was that so far as Rajiv's security is concerned, Delhi Police should look after it in Delhi and the State Police/U.T. Administrations should look after it outside Delhi and this proposal also emerged in the security meeting on 4.1.1990 and on that basis the Cabinet Note was drawn up and was approved by the Prime Minister on 18.1.199O.

From the evidence of Shri B.G. Deshmukh, Shri G.S. Bajpai and Shri V.P. Singh himself also, it turns out that in the Cabinet, the political thinking was opposed to extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi; although such a decision has not been recorded. Rather, the decision which has been recorded is unique and unparallel. The decision recorded is 'The Cabinet considered the note dated 23.1.1990 from the Cabinet (Mantrimandal Sachivalaya) and decided that further action in the matter may be taken in the light of the discussions.

What was discussed was not recorded. It is also not recorded that there was opposition for the extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi and such extension was not approved. Even what was decided is not recorded. What discussions have taken place that too has not been recorded. There is no record of discussions produced and there does not appear any record of discussions as well.

When such a minute was shown to the bureaucrats when they were under examination, according to some, recording of such decisions is unknown, unusual and some have expressed that there is nothing unusual in it. Decisions are recorded in this form as well. It is not foreign or alien to bureaucratic practice rather it is in conformity of such practice. Be that as it may, if a decision has been taken in the language as noted above, at least the record of discussions should have been made so that further action in the light of those discussion could be taken. It is one thing that it may be taken that whatever action has been initiated in the light of this decision, that is was, what was discussed but if there is any variation in action, then that variation cannot be checked or known without looking into the record of discussion.

To my mind, therefore, recording of this important decision in this manner appears to be somewhat unusual. In any case, the record of discussions should have been kept so that further action can be taken judged in the light of discussions. Shri V.P. Singh has tried to defend the non-recording the discussions as that would go to show what opinion was expressed by whom. Secrecy about the views has to be maintained.

If the bureaucrats could express their opinion in their notes, then there was nothing which may require the opinions expressed by the Members of the Council of Ministers to remain confidential or secret. When decision is left to discussion, it is all the more necessary that record of discussions should have been made, kept and maintained. In this matter, even it is not recorded that Cabinet has approved the Cabinet Note and action be taken in the light of the proposals made in the Cabinet Note. Everything was left to be dealt with in the light of the discussions. It appears to be a strange way of recording decisions in which further actions are required to be taken.

Before signing the minutes dated 7.4.1990, the note of discussion was not called for. Rather, Shri V.P. Singh noted 'action already taken on 7.4.1990. As the scheme for Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security was to come into effect immediately, so this not was recorded by Shri V.P. Singh 'Action already taken.' This does not obviate the necessity of looking into the record of discussion which, as a matter of fact, does not exist.

Thus, the way in which the matter of providing security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was processed by the IB, at the level of the bureaucrats and also at the level of the Council of Ministers shows that it was not examined thoroughly and it appears that a decision was taken only with a view to entrust the responsibility to the States without any consideration of the requirements or the need of extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi by amendment of the SPG Act or the need of creating any Central protective force having regard to the threat scenario of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. What was taken into account was that under the law and under the Constitution. It is the responsibility of the States. Let this responsibility be shouldered by the States without taking into account the need- based nature of elite and specialised protective cover.

The evidence on record does not at all bring out any connivance on the part of Shri V.P. Singh or his Government that let Shri Rajiv Gandhi be targetted in the absence of elite force protective cover of SPG or comparable to it. No such charge of criminal conspiracy as argued by Shri D.D. Thakur has been levelled by Shri R.B. Mittal on behalf of Congress against Shri V.P. Singh and his Government that there was such an animus on their part but the circumstances do point out and weigh very heavily that the question of providing security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was not given due weight, care and attention which it actually needed and it has been prompted by the consideration that despite demitting office, Shri Rajiv Gandhi should not have that high profile visibility or look like a very high dignitary equal to the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet were opposed to extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi or prompted by the consideration that even in Shri Rajiv Gandhi's Government, ex-Prime Ministers were excluded from such a protective cover. So, the successor Government of Shri V.P. Singh continued to adopt the same stand, as has been deposed by Shri V.P. Singh.

From what has been pointed out above, the personal relations between Shri V.P. Singh and Shri Rajiv Gandhi were far from normal if the whole background from the time of cropping up of differences is seen. Extraneous considerations also appear to have been in very much focus. Thus the action can be said to be motivated on the part of Shri V.P. Singh and his Government. The required seriousnes, anxiety and concern was lacking and responsibility for security was shifted to States without taking into account the non-availability of the required nature and quality of proximate security cover unit

in States and such a casual consideration of the question cannot be said to be prompted by genuine and bonafide intentions. However, I leave the matter for soul-searching by Shri V.P. Singh himself. The consequence (assassination) may not have been intended but the devising of such an inadequate alternative security scheme resulted into the unintended consequence.

Sh. V.C. Pande's  Note of 30.01.1990

42.5 With regard to the note of Shri V.C. Pande dated 30.1.1990, a peculiar situation has emerged in the evidence before the Commission. A situation has arisen to whom to believe and to whom not to believeS Shri V.P. Singh was asked as to whether he had seen the note of Shri V.C. Pande, Exhibit 248. He stated that he has not seen but immediately he further stated that he does not remember having seen the note, that this is a peculiar note.

It does not have a file number and he would want to see the dak register whether it had come to his office or it had moved out from the office of the Cabinet Secretary and what was the related file of this document and were any orders pass document seems to have neither parents nor children and he cannot say whether the document is a forged one but he needs to see all this. When he was referred to the statement of Shri V.C. Pande made on 21.9.1995 (para 5), which records 'the Cabinet meeting held on 30.1.1990 was on the basis of the Cabinet Note dated 23.1.1990 and not on my note.

So, the earlier development did not find mention in my note dated 30.1.1990. My note bears my Hindi initials with the note 'discussed in the Cabinet' bearing the date as 30.1.1990'. The original note is marked Exhibit 248 and my initials on it are marked 'X' and the note 'discussed in the Cabinet' is marked from 'A' to 'B'." Shri V.P. Singh replied that he cannot vouch for the document. Shri V.C. Pande stated that he took his note personally to the Prime Minister.

Shri V.P. Singh replied that he does not recall any such note brought by Shri V.C. Pande to him and this note does not bear any endorsement. He further stated that he does not recall that he had seen this note before the Cabinet meeting. The note in the end records 'PM may kindly see for approval'. Shri V.P. Singh replied that he does not recall that the note was sent to him for approval. Further statement of Shri V.C. Pande was confronted to Shri V.P. Singh which records that the note was submitted to the Prime Minister for approval.

Cabinet Secretary cannot intervene in the meeting of the Cabinet and the note was submitted to the Prime Minister to brief him about the position of SPG ACT and the problem of continuing SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi. He was asked as to whether he now recalls to which his answer was that he does not recall. When a question was put to him as to whether this note influenced him or could influence him or could influence the Cabinet if discussed in the Cabinet, Shri V.P. Singh replied that there was no question of this note influencing him and this note was not at all circulated to the Cabinet and so the question of Cabinet being influenced by the note does not arise and he himself could not convey the contents of the note to the Cabinet as he himself was not aware of the contents. He further deposed that the Prime Minister cannot be fickle rninded to be influenced by one note.

He has to get inputs from all sources and as a responsible Prime Minister he took the inputs from all the sources available. Even if he had seen this document, it could not have influenced him in isolation. According to Shri V.P. Singh, the meeting continued for several hours, though the other evidence on record, of Shri Naresh Chandra and Shri G.S. Bajpai is that the meeting lasted for about an hour. Apart from the statement of Shri V.C. Pande which has been confronted to Shri V.P. Singh, the statement of Shri B.G. Deshmukh was also confronted to him. Shri Deshmukh has deposed that Shri V.C. Pande had mentioned this proposal in the Cabinet and his proposal was okayed by the Cabinet.

After discussion, the Cabinet took a decision. Shri V P Singh repeated that he has already answered this question and he does not remember any proposal from Shri V C Pande and he has categorically said that Shri V.C. Pande's note was not considered by the Cabinet. Thus, the two senior bureaucrats categorically state about Shri V.C. Pande's proposal contained in his note having been discussed in the Cabinet and so, according to Shri Deshmukh, okayed by the Cabinet. The proposal was that the responsibility of providing protection to Shri Rajiv Gandhi and his family members should be left to the State Govts./U.T. Administrations and the M.H.A. should issue appropriate instruction9. Para 6 of the note also records that since it is not possible for SPG to spare personnel to cover his tours outside Delhi, the security arrangements outside Delhi should be left to the State Governments/U.T. Administrations.

This part of Shri V.C. Pande's note that he has approved, according to him, is not correct. He has deposed that factually there was no such approval and no such order issued. It may be mentioned here that the proposal was put to him for approval for such arrangements of Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security outside Delhi and he had signed that proposal but in fact orders were not issued and the Secretary (Security) recorded that M.H.A. will issue the orders. The note dated 23.1.1990 (Exhibit 581) was not shown to Shri V.C. Pande.

A security meeting was held on that day and in that note of the meeting, it was recorded that the responsibility of security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi should be left to the State Governments and Additional Director I.B. was of the view that such an arrangement will avoid the possibility of any confusion and will be in the interest of Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security. It was also recorded that the Cabinet Secretary may see the note for approval before necessary instructions are issued in this regard. This note came up before Shri V.C. Pande on 28.1.1990 and he knew it.

So, there was approval of Shri V.C. Pande of these arrangements of State's responsibility for the outside tours. In any case, so far as Shri V.C. Pande's note is concerned, there is no reason not to believe the testimony of Shri V.C. Pande and of Shri B.G. Deshmukh. Shri V.P. Singh has taken different stands; denying any note coming to him and simultaneously saying that he does not recall and so his testimony does not deserve acceptance.

Credence is added to the note of Shri Janardhan Poojari (Exhibit 202) by this note of Shri V.C. Pande dt. 30.01.90 which speaks of high profile visibility of the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and its criticism by the State Governments, if SPG continued to protect Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

This note of Shri V.C. Pande also establishes and confirms the thinking in the Political leadership that SPG protection should not be allowed to continue for Shri Rajiv Gandhi as is borne out by evidence that majority of the Ministers were opposed to the continuation of SPG security cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi as its high profile visibility made him appear like the Prime Minister. The veracity of Shri V.C. Pande's note gets further enhanced as actually this note had also gone to Shri G.S. Bajpai, the then Secretary (Security), who, during his deposition before the Commission on 4th June, 1997, recalled that "The note of Shri V.C. Pande had also come to me and I had signed on 2.2.90."

Governance by Foresight

42.6 Shri V.P. Singh also deposed that the Government is run by foresight and not by hindsight. He is right in saying so. One becomes wiser after the happening of an event but the question of Rajiv's security was not at all examined in the manner in which it should have been examined. All the inputs and considerations which ought to have been thought of and discussed were not taken into account. There was complete lack of foresight in considering this question. All the inputs received in respect of threat perceptions and assessments should have been looked into at all the three levels but in fact at all the three levels, they have been ignored.

No study was undertaken as to whether the nature and quality of security which he was having as Prime Minister, if not available, can that nature and quality of security be provided by the States, whether there are any exclusive units for providing security in the States of that nature comparable to the SPG. Even no consultations were made with the States before finalising the scheme as to whether the States would be able to shoulder the responsibility of providing proximate security of the nature which Shri Rajiv Gandhi was having as Prime Minister.

This defence thus has no validity that a different view can be taken by a hindsight and the issue is to be considered without taking into account that the event has taken place.

Silence Signified Satisfaction?

42.7 Shri V.P. Singh in his deposition has stated that the protests and complaints of the Congress Party in course of time died down and there was silence signifying satisfaction with the security arrangements. Shri B.G. Deshmukh in this connection has deposed that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was never bothered about his security. He never asked about security and said "this is your function and not mine. I am not going to ask".

These were his words. Shri Deshmukh narrated the event when after a dinner in Hyderabad House, he went to see Rajiv Gandhi off in his car. Shri Deshmukh mentioned that some people are telling that he (Rajiv Gandhi) is not happy with him (Shri Deshmukh). Shri Rajiv Gandhi said "Do not trust them, do not believe them and if you want, you can come in my car, I will drop you". He deposed that Shri Rajiv Gandhi was a gem of a man and was very transparent. If he was upset with him, he would have told him and expressed it. Thus, it would appear that there was no question of making noises or complaints or protests or demands in respect of security by Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

Study of Alternative Security Scheme in Operation

43 The Commission sought information in respect of the scheme in operation from 3.2.1990 to 21.5.1991. The information was sought on the following points, vide Commission's letter dated 14.5.1997:

(1) Whether any study of this scheme in operation in States was undertaken by the P.M.O. or the Cabinet Secretariat or by the Ministry of Home Affairs/I.B. during the period Shri V.P. Singh was the Prime Minister or at the initiative of the Prime Minister himself and if so, with what results and if not, reasons therefor?

(2) Likewise, whether any study of this scheme was undertaken by the PMO, or the Cabinet Secretariat or by the Ministry of Home Affairs/IB during the period Shri Chandra Shekhar was the Prime Minister or by the Prime Minister himself and if so, with what results and if not, reasons therefore?

(3) Whether the effectiveness of the scheme after it was implemented was monitored by the Intelligence Bureau through the intelligence inputs received by it from its various subsidiary units/offices or by calling for feedbacks from these field units by the IB itself?

(4) Whether those inputs formed the basis of threat perception to Shri Rajiv Gandhi from time to time and if so, with what results and if not, reasons therefore?

(5) In case the implementation of the scheme was not monitored, after it became operational, the reasons therefore.

(6) Which were the States which were visited by Shri Rajiv Gandhi after he had demitted the office of Prime Minister from 2.12.1989 to 21.5.1991.

(7) Whether it came to the notice of the IB that Shri Rajiv Gandhi during his visit to Buxar (Bihar) in April 1991 he had publicly expressed his concern about his security and if so, what steps were taken to beef up his security?

(8) It has also come in evidence before the Commission that a similar concern was expressed by Shri Rajiv Gandhi about his security after his visits to Patna (Bihar) and Meham (Haryana) in March, 1991, and Anand, Baroda and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan) on May 19, 1991 and if so, what steps were taken to beef up his security?

43.1 The information furnished by the Government on these points is as under:

"2. Our comments, point-wise, are given below:

(1) When a similar query was put to Shri M.K. Narayanan former DIB, he explained "During my second tenure as DIB, very detailed instruction were given upgrading security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Under the law this was the sole responsibility of the states to protect the high dignitaries. Reports used to come regarding implementation of the instructions from the IB officers from the respective States.

Beyond sending instructions, there was nothing more In could have done. I was of the opinion whatever instructions were there, that is sufficient, if faithfully implemented. (Page 4 of deposition of Shri K.K.N. on 2.11.95). He further clarifies 'Have no authority to see the advice given by the IB has to be implemented. It is the responsibility of the State Government exclusively and solely. I could not supervise the arrangements". (Page 7 of this deposition on 3.11.95). To yet another question he replied, 'IB has functions of assessing threats for the VIPs and providing some advice regarding security arrangements to VIPs. Beyond that it has no statutory responsibility or authority'. (Page 9 of his deposition on 20.11.95)

To a similar question, Shri K.N. Thakur, former JD, IB staged, 'Both State CIDs and our field units report about non-compliance observed by them. The IB Headquarters on its own does not ask whether any particular instruction was not implemented'. (page 2 of the deposition of Shri KNT on 26.4.96) (2) and (3) same as above.

(4) Shri M.K. Narayana clarified while deposing before the Hon'ble Commission, 'The security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi was being constantly assessed and monitored in terms of the threat at the particular moment which could be higher that the previous arrangements existed. It is for this reason that far more instructions regarding the threat to and security arrangements to Rajiv Gandhi were sent to the States who had sole responsibility for the protection of high dignitaries like Shri Rajiv Gandhi. (page 4 of his deposition on 3.11.95).

Shri K.N. Thakur, while deposing before this Hon'ble Commission stated, 'The security arrangements for Shri Rajiv Gandhi as ex-Prime Minister were issued by the Government of India on 3.2.1990. Thereafter, from time to time, in the light of intelligence reports, threat assessment and further suggestions for tightening the security were communicated to DGPs of the States'. (Page 1 of his deposition on 26.4.1996)

It is also pertinent to note the observations found in the last four lines of page 97 (para 17.41) of Verma Commission Report which reads:

"In the existing circumstances the need is to make the role of IB more effective in the sphere of operation as well by making the State realise that in doing so the IB would be facilitating the task of the State Police Force and not hampering it."

(5) and as in (1) above.

(6) Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Arunachal Pradesh, Pondicherry, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Goa, Meghalaya, Tripura and Tamil Nadu were the States which were visited by Shri Rajiv Gandhi after he had demitted the office of the Prime Minister from 2.12.1989 to 21.5.1991.

(7) and (8) Available records in IB do not reveal the observations of Shri Rajiv Gandhi at Buxer (Bihar) on his security. (Four original files of IB on the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Viz No. 29/VS/89(1), No. 29/VS/89((1)-II, No. 29/VS/89(1)-KW and No. 35 /VS/89(2) have been submitted to the Hon'ble Commission)."

43.2 In sub-para 1 of para 2 of the comments, it is stated that though the State CIDs and IB's field units report about the non-compliance observed by them, the IB Headquarters on its own does not ask whether particular instruction was not implemented. This was stated on the basis of the deposition of Shri K.N. Thakur on 26.4.96. The reports of the filed units of the IB or of the State CIDs have not been placed before the Commission. No information has been given about the places and towns the visited and whether more than one meeting were addressed by him on one day and what security cover in terms of the Scheme was provided and what was lacking.

No information has been given that non-implementation of the Scheme was reported to the Governments of Shri V.P. Singh and Shri Chandra Sekhar. The Commission had some evidence and information about the lack of security arrangements in terms of the scheme for the places Patna (Bihar), Meham (Haryana), Anand, Baroda and Ahmedabad (Gujarat) and Jodhpur (Rajasthan). No information has been furnished to the Commission particularly in respect of these places, whether Access Control, Ring Round, Anti-Sabotage Check, Isolation and Inner Cordon, etc. were observed or not and in what respects the Scheme was not implemented.

At the level of bureaucrats in the Home Ministry, P.M.O. and the Cabinet Secretariat, in Shri V.P. Singh's or Shri Chandra Shekhar Government, too ought to have inquired into as to how the alternative security scheme is being implemented in the field by the States/UT Administrations concerned. What problems have arisen and whether any new scheme is required to be devised. Even the two Prime Ministers ought to have made such queries and obtained reports. There does not appear to have been any thinking on these lines. Only breaches on the part of Shri Rajiv Gandhi were noticed and letters were addressed to him. But breaches on the part of State Administration and State Police in implementation of the Alternative Scheme went unnoticed.

43.3 If any scheme of security is not working well in its implementation, or in operation, is it not the charter of the I.B. to devise and see that implementation become systemic and no cause of implementation lacunae remains! It is the responsibility of the I.B. to devise such a scheme. If, under the Constitution, it was the responsibility of the States/UT administration, then there was no need for the preparation of any security scheme by the I.B.

43.4 It is true that various circulars and memorandums have been sent to the State authorities conveying IB's threat perceptions and suggesting guidelines in connection with the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi and informing about the latest devices which can be used by the militants.

A question was put to Shri G.S. Bajpai, former Secretary (Security) that if any instructions in the Blue Book are not followed or observed by the State Police and the implementation of the instructions of the Blue Book is laconic, whether it is not the IB's duty to see that instructions of the Blue Book are implemented. Shri Bajpai stated that IB would be competent to report to the Government if they find that the instructions are not being followed by the States. Whether IB informed the Government in connection with the implementation of Rajiv's security, he stated that he is not aware as no report came to him.

It may be stated here that a constant study ought to have been made as to whether the States are implementing the scheme fully as is enjoined on them at the places visited by Shri Rajiv Gandhi during the aforesaid period, after implementation of the scheme. The Commission has been informed of the names of the States visited by Shri Rajiv Gandhi during Shri V.P. Singh's Government and Shri Chandra Shekhar's Government.

The exact places i.e. the names of towns and cities have not been stated in reply to the questionnaire and specific information was sought in respect of his visits to some specific places like Patna, Meham, Anand, Baroda and Jodhpur but no reports in respect of implementation of the scheme at these places have been placed before the Commission. The IB thought that the duty is over by dispatching guidelines and instructions.

Whether those guidelines and instructions are carried out or not is not required to be reported to the Government so that the Government may be in a position to take a decision to see that the scheme is enforced or some other scheme may be devised to protect the life of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, so that the implementation of the guidelines may be systemic and inbuilt.

It appears that at all the three levels i.e. the Intelligence Agencies, the bureaucracy as well as the Political executive, no study was ever made throughout the period made to ascertain the level of implementation of the security scheme for Shri Rajiv Gandhi by the States. The alternative security scheme did not provide for an inbuilt systemic, implementation mechanism.

43.5 Shri S.S. Javali, Counsel for the Commission, while referring to the statements of Shri K.R. Venugopal and Shri R. Vasudevan, submitted that in their notes, some suggestion for amendment in the SPG Act was there but their suggestions were not heeded to and were not given due weight and consideration at any level. It so appears from the material and evidence before the Commission. Although some of the witnesses have also expressed themselves that they were not in favour of amendment.

What considerations were there for effecting new amendment in the SPG Act so as to cover ex-PM has not been spelt out in any of the notes. It is not clear after looking to the entire record as to why amendment was not advisable. Was it not the requirement or need of Shri Rajiv Gandhi in the light of his threat scenario? Was money the consideration? Was its ostentatious character the consideration? Was it to make a distinction between the incumbent Prime Minister and the ex-Prime Minister? Was threat to incumbent Prime higher to that of Shri Rajiv Gandhi? Was it because under the Constitution the responsibility for providing protection was that of the States and the Centre has no such responsibility? Was non-inclusion of ex-Prime Minister in the SPG Act by the predecessor Government of Shri Rajiv Gandhi the consideration?

It sound strange that at all levels, the reasons of inadvisability were not spelt out. Shri S.S. Javali also pointed out ho IB disowned its responsibility on the ground that it does not lie in its charter to see that the scheme is implemented in letter and spirit and devise means of its implementation. As a matter of fact, while devising the alternative scheme, this should have gone into consideration by the IB as to whether the scheme provides an in-built system of mechanism of implementation.

He was very critical of the statements of Shri. K.N. Thakur and Shri. M.M. Narayanan when they stated that it is not the charter of the I.B. to oversee, control or supervise the implementation of the scheme or even to study the alternative scheme in operation, and report to the Government and submit its own proposals in respect of any mechanism for implementation. He urged that if devising the scheme is IB's charter, how IB can absorb its responsibility to devise some other scheme if the earlier scheme fails or is not implemented in its letter and spirit.

The earlier scheme devised by the IB had in fact failed not at one place but at several places as borne out from the material and evidence on record, although IB has failed to supply such information. Shri. S.s. Javali also referred to the statements of Shri. Shyamal Datta, Shri G.S. Bajpai and other evidence on record in connection with Rajiv's security. The question of adequacy or inadequacy of the alternative security scheme therefore has to be judged in the light of these various consideration in the scheme itself.



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