Legal luminary Gopal Subramanium is no stranger to commissions of inquiry. Having served earlier as counsel for the J.S. Verma Commission—which went into the security lapses in Rajiv Gandhi's assassination—and the D.P. Wadhwa Commission, which looked into the killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his sons, he has his task cut out in his present role. In an interview with Outlook, he shares his thoughts on the challenges before the Venkataswami Commission which is studying the Tehelka exposé. Excerpts:
How does the commission view the return of George Fernandes as defence minister? Does it amount to pre-judging the commission's findings?
The commission is expected to work purely in a non-personal, institutional framework and must view all actions outside as extraneous to its mandate.
But surely this is a bad precedent on the part of the government? Is this action a blow to the functioning of the commission?
A commission of inquiry can often be and is intended to be the fulfillment of a public expectation—the people have the right...