As part of the process of making public the factual details about the tragic incident that took place during a family gathering at the Narayanhity Royal Palace on the night of June 1, 200l, His Majesty King Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev announced the formation of a high level committee with Chief Justice Keshav Prasad Upadhyaya as Chairman and Speaker of Parliament Taranath Rana Bhat and opposition leader in the House of Representatives Madhav Kumar Nepal as members on June 4, 2001, requiring the committee to submit its report in three days.
The resignation submitted to His Majesty the King on June 6, 2001 by member of the committee Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal through its Chairman citing his party’s decision not to work on the high level committee and pledging at the same time his party’s and his own full cooperation in the process of investigation.
The Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King issued a communique on June 6, 2001establishing the following terms of reference for the committee:
1. To submit to His Majesty the King a report along with the factual details about the incident that took place at the Royal Palace on June 1, 2001.
2. The committee will have the following powers:
(a)To observe the site of the incident and collect necessary details along with photographs.
(b)Acquire information from family members and other individuals present at the gathering at the site of incident, individuals providing security and other services at the Royal Palace, doctors and nurses involved in the treatment and other individuals whom the committee deems essential to interview.
(c)To collect and examine the weapons, bullets and other objects concerned with the incident and acquire reports on the test and examinations conducted by the hospital in connection with the incident.
(d)To take necessary help from experts concerned regarding the incident.
(e)To seek the assistance of individuals concerned in connection with the execution of the committee’s duties.
3. The tenure of office of the committee will be three days starting from the date of initiating its work.
4. The office of the committee will be set up at a place specified by the Chairman.
5. The committee will specify its other procedures on its own.
The same communique confirmed the acceptance of the resignation submitted by member of the committee and opposition leader in the House of Representatives Mr. Madhav Kumar Nepal.
As stated in the communique issued by the Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King on June 6, 2001, the office of the committee was set up at the parliament building on parliament premises as specified by the Chairman of the committee. The committee started its work from June 8, 2001.
Information and data were collected in course of gathering factual details about the incident in line with the royal proclamation of His Majesty the King while remaining within the framework of the terms of reference specified in the communique issued by the Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King. The committee’s modus operandi was worked out in line with the communique which had authorized the committee to specify its own working procedure. Basically the following methodology was adopted for collection of factual details about the incident:
(a)Interrogation of the victims of the incident and Royal Family members present at the site of the incident, royal relatives, and security guards, chefs, attendants, Royal Palace service office bearers, individuals engaged in rescue work, physicians and nurses involved in medical treatment and other individuals who seem to be associated with the incident.
(b)Study of notices and data received from the Principal Secretariat of His Majesty the King and Birendra Military Hospital, and records and documents relating to the medical treatment.
(c)Collection of guns, bullets, cartridges, blood, brain tissue, fingerprints and clothing found at the site of the incident, and study of scientific and chemical test reports by the experts concerned.
(d)Consultations with experts concerned, narcotic drug experts and psychologists on the opinions given by experts about the guns, bullets, blood, brain tissue and finger prints, and on technical matters stated in documents relating to medical treatment collected in course of the investigation.
As it took some more time to complete laboratory tests on various physical substances recovered from the site of the incident in course of submitting a report after following the above methodology and the report could not be completed within the specified time, His Majesty the King extended the tenure of office of the committee by four days starting from June 11, 2001 as per the request of the committee.