It is a long-held fact that Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi because his ideology differed from that of the ‘Father of the Nation’. However, a close scrutiny of the case never reveals what Godse said about the assassination during his trial.
The Central Information Commissioner (CIC) stated that the statement of Nathuram Godse should be “proactively disclosed” on the website of the National Archives.
“One may disagree with Godse and his co-accused, but we cannot refuse disclosure or circulation of his opinion. At the same time, neither Godse nor the holder of his theme or opinion can go to the extent of killing a person whose philosophy he cannot agree with,” CIC’s Sridhar Acharyulu said.
The order was made after a petition was filed by Ashutosh Bansal who demanded the release of charge sheet and Godse’s statement. Bansal had been initially directed by the Delhi Police to ask the National Archives about the documents as they said that the records had been handed over to it. However, a close search of the archives did not result in the revelation of the information.
Acharyulu said that the information does not come under Section 8 of the RTI Act which prohibits disclosure of information which might affect the security of the state.
“The Commission also directs the National Archives to place the index of records available now with it about the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on its official website along with the procedure to gain access, and recommends development of an archive to include present digitised records and collect as many as possible from various sources to be part of their disclosures under Section 4(1)(b),” said Acharyulu.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by Godse on January 30, 1948.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi attracted a defamation case when he accused the right-wing group Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) of ordering the assassination.