Justice A S Naidu
Justice A S Naidu
Bhubaneswar: The Justice A.S. Naidu Commission, who is probing into the hooch tragedy, that struck several villages in Cuttack and Khurda districts of Odisha and claimed more than 35 lives in the month of February, submitted an interim report to the state government on Sunday.

The State Government had appointed the Commission of Inquiry on February 10 to probe the causes and the circumstances under which the hooch tragedy had taken place and to submit a report.

“The interim report has been submitted before the Chief Minister, suggesting precautionary measures needed to be taken to avoid further occurrences of the menace,” Justice A.S. Naidu said.

However, the Commission in its interim report has not expressed any opinion with regard to any deliberate omissions and commissions of officers belonging to different departments.

The observations made in the interim report are tentative and based on prima facie materials,” Naidu said, expressing “hope and trust” that the government would take expeditious steps to implement the interim report.

However, during its fourth sitting here on Sunday, the Commission came down heavily on the state government for not appointing a government advocate till date to assist the panel in going ahead with its proceedings. The Government, though, appointed advocate PR Das as the amicus curiae to assist the commission in its proceedings.

The commission also expressed displeasure over the fact that affidavits have not been filed by authorities of the Health Department and directed the Health and Family Welfare Secretary to file an affidavit detailing measures taken by the department before and after the incident.

Apart from this the Drug Controller, who was in position during the incident, has also been directed to file an affidavit too.

The Excise Department has also been directed to produce the list of the licence-holders of methyl alcohol and the quantity supplied to each of them and the names of owners of the medical shops, where the so-called contaminated medicines were sold.

Source: 360 NS