Nanavati panel submits status report to Gujarat HC


Prime VIP
The Nanavati Commission, probing the 2002 communal riots, on Friday submitted the status report of its work to the Gujarat High Court.

The sealed cover was handed over by the Government Pleader Prakash Jani to a division bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi, during the hearing on a petition seeking cross-examination of Chief Minister Narendra Modi and three others.

The court while hearing the petition filed by Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM), an NGO representing some of the post-Godhra riot victims last week, had asked government to furnish status report on the Commission's work.

The court has scheduled further hearing on the matter for June 30.

Nanavati Commission, in September last year had rejected JSM's application asking for summoning of Modi and three others, saying they did not find justification in cross-examining them at that point of time.

JSM then approached the High Court seeking quashing of the Nanavati Commission's order in November 2009. However, a single bench of Justice K S Jhaveri dismissed its petition saying that the Commission had not completed its inquiry and still had the power to summon Modi.

Following this, JSM filed an appeal before a division bench of the Gujarat High Court.

The state government had last week extended the term of Commission, comprising retd Justice G T Nanavati and retd Justice Akshay Mehta, for the 14th time till December 31.

The Nanavati Commission had told High Court during hearing in the matter on April 1, that its decision of September 2009, of not summoning Modi was "not final".

The Commission was appointed by the state government on March 3, 2002, under the Commission of Inquiry Act and comprised Justice K G Shah. The probe panel was formed after widespread communal riots in the state in wake of the Godhra train burning incident on February 27, 2002.

The state government in May 2002, appointed retd Justice G T Nanavati as chairman of the Commission. Initially the terms of reference (TOR) of Commission was to inquire into the burning of S6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station, which was later amended in June 2002 to include incidents of violence that took place after the Godhra train burning incident.

In 2008, after the death of Justice K G Shah, Justice Akshay Mehta was appointed to the Commission.