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Bannerjee Commission: Lalu to move SC

india Updated: Oct 16, 2006 13:13 IST
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Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Monday dropped ample hints that the UPA government would challenge in the Supreme Court the Gujarat High Court's verdict, declaring the UC Banerjee Commission on the Godhra train blaze as 'illegal'.

"The avenues for challenging the Gujarat High Court's order are still open, and we will go to the apex court in this regard," Prasad told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI conference in New Delhi.

On Friday last, the Gujarat High Court had declared as "unconstitutional, illegal and void" the setting up of the UC Banerjee Committee to probe certain aspects of Godhra train blaze in S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express in February 2002, in which 59 kar sevaks perished.

The high court also ordered that the report of the committee, set up by the Railway Ministry in Septemer 2004, should not be tabled in Parliament.

Justice BH Vaghela pronounced the order on a petition filed by a survivor of the carnage, Neelkanth Bhatia, who had challenged the setting up of Banerjee Committee at a time when the Justice Nanawati-Shah Commission was already probing the matter.

"It is a judicial matter. One court has given an adverse verdict, but we will go to the Supreme Court to challenge it," the minister said.

on Sunday, Prasad had reacted to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's demand for his resignation, saying he would resign only when Modi quits as Chief Minister.

"I will resign only when Narendra Modi resigns. What right has the BJP got to demand my resignation when Modi himself has been found guilty by different panels, including the Banerjee Commission, and civil rights groups. Let Modi resign first, then I will resign," he told newspersons at the Iftar party hosted by Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan at his residence in New Delhi.

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