Bhima Koregaon Commission

In the year 2018, the Bhima Koregaon Commission was established. . It was established by the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court at the request of the Government of Maharashtra. The committee is chaired by Sumit Mullick, Chief Secretary of the Maharashtra State Government, and Jay Narayan Patel, former Judge of the Supreme Court of Calcutta.

Role and Power of the commission

The Commission was appointed to investigate the consequences and causes of the Bhima Koregaon case. The Commission was also responsible for ascertaining whether an individual or group was indirectly or directly responsible for the Bhima Koregaon case. The commission also has the role to confirm that police actions were appropriate. Check whether the measures taken by the state police will help prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future, and ensure that district plans and precautions are appropriate.

The Commission has the authority to ask everyone to provide the necessary information. It can enter any building and confiscate any document or book. The committee is considered a civil court and can process legal proceedings.

Suspension of the commission

In the month of June 2021, a letter was sent to the state government requesting accommodation suitable for an office for hearings. In the absence of a response from the state government, another letter was sent in the month of October 2021 stating that the Commission would suspend the hearing if accommodation was not provided. Without a response from the state government, the Commission suspended all future hearings. However, after the government of the state provided appropriate accommodation, the Commission resumed trials in the month of November 2021.

Issues faced by the commission

The Commission was given only four months to prepare an investigation report on the Bhima Koregaon case thus time became the major constarint. However, action by the state government is not quick and there are delays in reservations, notifications and public affidavit calls. For example, the Commission was appointed on 9th February in the year 2018. However, the Commission’s technical experts, secretaries and case handlers were not appointed until the month of April 2018. The office space that houses the committee requires extensive repairs and was not completed until the month of September 2018.

Appointment of the commission

1st January, 2018 celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. On the anniversary, lakhs of Dalit gathered in the village of Bhima Koregaon. Violence at the celebration killed a 28-year-old and five others were also injured. The Bhima Koregaon Commission has been appointed to investigate this violence.

About Battle of Bima Koregaon

On January 1, 1818, a battle broke out between the Peshwa army and the British army. The British army consisted primarily of Dalit soldiers. They fought the upper caste army of Peshwa. British troops defeated Peshwa. Victory is considered a victory over caste-based discrimination. Dalits see battle as a symbol of pride. The Brahmin Peshwa is believed to be a Dalit oppressor.