April 18, 1977, Forty Years Ago: Inquiry Commissions
One former Chief Justice of India and two former judges of the Supreme Court will head the three inquiry commissions to look into the doings of the previous government. J.C. Shah, former chief justice, will go into the “excesses, malpractices and abuse of authority” during the Emergency. He is to pinpoint the responsibility and assess the complicity of even “ the highest political authority”. H.R. Khanna, former SC judge, will inquire into the affairs of Maruti. Sanjay Gandhi had established this firm six years ago to manufacture a low-priced car. Jagmohan Reddy, another former SC judge, will go into what has come to be known as the Bansi Lal scandal.
Sanjay’s Passport Held
The government of India impounded the passport of Sanjay Gandhi, Bansi Lal and Dhirendra Brahmachari, head of a local yoga ashram.
Kerala CM To Quit
Kerala Chief Minister Karunakaran announced his “desire” to step down. The chief minister made the announcement at an extraordinary meeting of the KPCC executive held at his house.
Bhutto’s Islamic Laws
Pakistan Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto lifted an official ban on public gatherings and pledged to suspend the state of emergency when the situation in strife-torn Pakistan returned to normalcy. Bhutto also announced measures aimed at enforcing Islamic laws. These included prohibition, closing liquor shops and a ban on all forms of gambling. Bhutto said he will bring together detained leaders of the Opposition, the Pakistani National Alliance, to consider his proposals.
A commission would be set up to prepare a code of morality applicable to all Pakistani Muslims, he said. He invited three religious leaders from the Opposition to take part in an Islamic theology council to propose measures for the introduction of Islamic laws in Pakistan within six months.