Monday, November 29, 1999

Guj Govt extends term of Nanavati Commission till Dec 31

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Ahmedabad, Jun 17 (PTI) The Narendra Modi Government has extended the term of Nanavati Commission, probing the 2002 Gujarat riots, by six months, the 14th time it has done so. The step comes at a time when the Gujarat High Court is hearing a petition by an NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM) seeking a direction to the Commission, whose term was due to end on June 30, that it summon Chief Minister Modi for questioning. The Nanavati Commission had told High Court during the last hearing in the matter on April 1 that its decision of September, 2009, of not summoning Modi was "not final". Today, the High Court asked the government to furnish status report on Nanavati Commission. Modi has already been questioned in connection with 2002 riot, for over nine-hour by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on March 27 following a complaint by one of the victims. Officials of the Commission said that they had received the extension letter couple of days ago from the state government. The term of Commission comprising retd Justices G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta has now been extended till December 31, 2010. Lawyer representing JSM, Mukul Sinha, had requested the court that in case the Commission does not call Modi by June 17, then the Court could pass appropriate orders in this regard. 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 wide-spread 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 of Commission was to inquire into facts, circumstances and course of events that led to burning of the S6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station. The TOR was further amended in June 2002 and the Commission was also asked to inquire the incidents of violence that took place after the Godhra train burning incident. MORE PTI PB PD AMA.

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