Angry Liberhan says he did not leak Ayodhya report (Lead)

Chandigarh, Nov 23 ( “Get lost!” This was M.S. Liberhan’s outburst when confronted by journalists over his leaked report into the Babri mosque razing published Monday. The retired Supreme Court judge, whose report on the December 1992 demolition has created a furore in parliament, said he had not leaked the report to anyone.

An angry Liberhan yelled at the media outside his house in Chandigarh’s upscale Sector 9 residence, even telling them to “get lost”.

Ambushed while taking a walk, Liberhan took exception to a journalist asking him if he had perhaps leaked the report to the Indian Express daily that published a condensed version of his findings into the 1992 mosque demolition.

“I am not that kind of a characterless person that I should leak the report. I have submitted the report to the government,” said a visibly annoyed Liberhan, a former chief justice of the Andhra Pradesh high court, who took nearly 17 years to compile the report on the mosque demolition in Ayodhya and submitted it June this year.

“It is for you (media) to go and find out (who leaked the report). I am not that kind of accessible person to the media,” he said, adding he was “very sad” at the way the media was treating him before walking back into his home in a huff.

Home Minister P. Chidambaran told Lok Sabha Monday morning that there was only one copy of the Liberhan Commission report and that was “in safe custody”.

It took 17 years and 48 extensions for the Liberhan Commission probing the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya to submit its report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh June this year.

One of the country’s longest running inquiry commissions, which has cost the government nearly Rs.7 crore (Rs.70 million), the Liberhan Commission was set up to probe the sequence of events leading to the razing of the Babri mosque by Hindu mobs on Dec 6, 1992.

The report — in four volumes with an extensive set of annexures — will be placed in both houses of parliament along with the Action Taken Report (ATR) in the ongoing winter session, Chidambaram said in the Lok Sabha.

During the entire tenure, the one-man probe has been dogged by procedural delays, non-cooperation from key witnesses and even constant transfers of staff during the early days of the commission’s functioning.