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Report No. 24

11. Power of Government to appoint Commissions suo motu.-

First, it has been suggested to us that Government should not have the power to appoint a Commission of Inquiry suo motu.1 There is a great advantage if the Government, before it appoints a Commission of Inquiry, obtains a mandate from the Legislature. The obvious advantage is that in such a case the responsibility for determining whether a matter is a definite matter of public importance will shift from the executive to the elected representatives of the people.

On the other hand, the disadvantage is that in an urgent case when the legislature is not in session the Government will not be able to act immediately (e.g., when there is an accident which requires immediate investigation). Further, there may be cases in which it may be necessary to observe the utmost secrecy until certain facts have been ascertained by a Commission of Inquiry. On the whole, we do not think a change in the law is called for.

1. This relates to section 3(1).

Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 Back

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