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Union Government holds 41 files on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose & Only 2 of them are declassified


The disclosure of the files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose by the West Bengal Government has put the central government under tremendous pressure to declassify the files in its possession. Available data indicates that there are a total of 41 files on Netaji with the central government, out of which two are declassified and the rest 39 are not.


After the West Bengal Government declassified the files/information in its possession, on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, there is considerable pressure on the NDA government at the centre to declassify the files in its possession. As per the available information, the Union Government, in its possession has 41 files on Bose out of which only two are declassified and are sent to the National Archives. The rest 39 files are yet to be declassified and successive governments have been refusing to declassify them.

The File Classification

There are four types of security classifications as given below. Files/papers contained sensitive information are classified into the following based on the content and procedure as decided by the government.

  • Top Secret (TS) – Generally reserved for papers containing very sensitive information relating to national security etc.
  • Secret (S) – Generally reserved for papers whose knowledge would cause administrative embarrassment or difficulty or internal breach of peace and amity or injury to the interest and prestige of the Government or would be of advantage to a foreign nation or enemy.
  • Confidential (C) – Generally reserved for papers containing information, the unauthorized disclosure of which while would be prejudicial to the interests of the nation,
  • Restricted (R) – Generally intended for restricted disclosure to a certain set of people and not for publication.

There could also be some files that are yet to be classified and they are indicated as Unclassified Files (U). These classified files are periodically declassified and put in the public domain.

The Government’s response

Successive governments (UPA & NDA) have been refusing to declassify the files they possess on Netaji. The Prime Minister’s office in November 2014, in response to a RTI application filed by Mr. Subhas Chandra Agarwal , said that it does have some files related to Netaji, but refused to disclose their contents.


In its reply, the PMO disclosed the list of files, but said the disclosure of the documents in the files would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries. The reply also said that these files are exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(a) read with 8(2), of the Right to Information Act, 2005. Sec 8(1)(a) of the RTI act is reproduced below.


The 41 Files

The RTI response by the PMO listed the 41 files held by the government on Netaji. Out of these 41, only two are declassified and are sent to the National Archives.


Out of the remaining the 39 files, four (4) are designated as Top Secret, twenty (20) are designated as Secret, five (5) are designated as Confidential and the remaining Ten(10) are Unclassified (yet to be classified).


The ‘Top Secret’ Files

Two of the four files designated as ‘Top Secret’ relate to the death/disappearance of Netaji (Justice Mukherjee Commission of Inquiry). Another of this file relates to correspondence with the widow and daughter of Netaji and the last one refers to the transfer of Netaji’s ashes to India.


The Secret Files

Most of the secret files refer to the disappearance of Netaji and the appointment of an inquiry committee. One of these files refers to Bharat Ratna award and mentions three names other than Netaji.


The confidential files contain some letters and also have information about the funeral of Netaji’s widow. The Unclassified files seem to be very general in nature.


What is the NDA Government saying now?

The BJP while in the opposition had demanded the disclosure of these files. Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh as BJP President in January 2014 had demanded that “The mystery behind his death should be unveiled by the Union government to let the people know the truth.”

The BJP, now in power is citing the same reasons as the previous UPA government. It says that India’s relations with some foreign countries would be affected if these files are declassified. Only time will tell if they stick to their earlier demand of full disclosure.

List of Files on Netaji With Central Government


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.


  1. British ordered assassination of Netaji: New facts are coming out that British ordered assassination of Netaji after he escaped from house arrest in 1941. Eunan O-Halpin of Trinity College, Dublin, made the stunning revelation while delivering lecture at Netaji Research Bureau. A history professor, O-Halpin said the plan of British Special Operation Executive to assassinate Bose, on his way to Germany was foiled as he changed his route and went via Russia. O-Halpin had handed over the classified documents to Krishna Bose. Sugato Bose, a professor of history in the Harvard University, said he had already informed PM Manmohan Singh about the matter. “I met PM on July 26 and informed him of the existence of documents and told him that unveiling these documents would not affect bilateral ties with UK. ” said Bose. But who really killed Netaji? Netaji had unified Hindus and Muslims in INA that drove British Army to its knees and came up to Imphal and raised India flags. The Taiwan plane crash was the biggest cover up. It is reasonable to suspect that BRITISH WERE BEHIND KILLING NETAJI. British were eager to get rid of Netaji because with Netaji presence they could not have split India. British ruled India with the policy of divide and rule. Netaji did not like that unlike other Indian leaders like Nehru or Gandhi. Some say, Netaji was handed over to Russians by the Japanese and Stalin ordered his execution. But now British archives are making it clear that BRITISH MAY HAVE EXECUTED HIM IN SECRET. THIS WAS AN ACT OF ANGLO-JAPAN SECRETE PACT. Japan surrendered to Brit & US on 15th august, 1945 and last air trip of Netaji was 3 days after, on 18th august 1945. So a surrendered Japan was no longer azad hind ally, as because Netaji was not in a mood to surrender and BRITISH REVIVED THEIR OLD PLAN TO ASSASSINATE BOSE. British gained a lot from his disappearance. They could split India into India and Pak. It was a lesson taught to Indians by British before they dilute their empire. There lies the motive for killing Netaji. O–Halpin said the British thought Netaji would travel to Germany from Afghanistan via Iran, Iraq and Turkey and informed representatives in Istanbul and Cairo to carry out the operation. Still British are not competent enough to tell the truth. It is reasonable to believe that JAPAN SOLD NETAJI TO BRITISH AND BRITISH EXECUTED HIM IN SECRET. ACCORDINGLY BOTH JAPAN AND BRITISH ARE HIDING TRUTH AND SPEAKING LIES ON NETAJI.

  2. Declassification of all Netaji files may prove that JAPAN AND BRIT JOINTLY PLAYED A FOUL GAME WITH NETAJI ; In WW-I, JAPAN was a Britis ally. Before WW-II, Japan -US trade war and political war started; this led to actual US-JAPAN war. So Britis became an enemy to JAPAN by diplomatic manipulation as US-Britis alliance was there. After WW-II, JAPAN revived their old link with Britis . JAPAN and Brit spies were well linked before WW-II. JAPAN SPIES AGREED TO ELIMINATE NETAJI . Motive was to appease Brit and purchase security for JAPAN royal family. So, JAPAN HANDED OVER NETAJI TO BRITIS AND BRITIS EXECUTED HIM IN SECRETE. False news of air crash was JAPAN fabrication. In any controversial case, liar is to be suspected. NETAJI plan to start second independence war with USSR help was known to Japan . So, Brit and JAPAN spies developed a common minimum program against pro-SOCIALIST agenda of NETAJI . Why should JAPAN imperialism agree to patronize emergence of independent India as a permanent communist ally? Is it not more logical to fulfill Britis condition and purchase favor? Why JAPAN royal family was not tried as a war criminal? What is the mystery behind this favor?
    There is another point about gumnami baba. Who was he? He was a dummy created as a part of common minimum program of JAPAN and Brit imperialism. In axis camp, creation of dummy by plastic surgery was a common practice. Hitler and Mussolini were having number of dummies. JAPAN sold NETAJI -dummy to Britis . Britis deputed this dummy at faizabad of UP, with a purpose to create confusion regarding NETAJI . This confusion prevented nation to be doubtful about role of JAPAN or Brit. So, gumnami baba of faizabad is a common creation of JAPAN and Brit spies. Never had he told truth. If he had told anything, that must be lie. In a controversial case, liar is to be suspected. So, JAPAN SOLD NETAJI TO BRITIS AND BRITIS EXECUTED HIM IN SECRET. JAPAN sold NETAJI -dummy to Britis and Britis deputed him at faizabad of UP. JAPAN SURRENDERED TO US-UK SIDE ON 15-AUG-1945. NETAJI’s last flight was on 18-aug-1945. A SURRENDERED JAPAN WAS NO LONGER AN ALLY OF AZAD HIND. They worked as per their new mentors, the Britis.