The final report on the probe into the 2002 Godhra train burning and the riots afterward may get further delayed with the death of Justice K.G.Shah, one of the two judges comprising the two-member commission.
Justice Shah died early on Sunday at his residence in the Satellite area of the city. He had not been keeping well the last few months and probably died in his sleep on Saturday night.
A retired judge of the Himachal Pradesh High Court, Justice K.G.Shah was appointed to head the fact-finding Commission on March 6, 2002.
Following criticism in judicial circles about Shah’s alleged anti-minority bias, retired Supreme Court judge Justice G.T. Nanavati was appointed to head the Commission with Justice Shah as the other member.
Justice Shah was perceived as having an anti-minority bias because he had sentenced some Muslims to death in a murder case, without sufficient incontrovertible evidence.
His death comes when the panel was about to start the final phase of the probe, having finished recording the evidence. After several extensions in the past six years, the panel was to submit its final report in June.
The country witnessed perhaps the most bloody riots ever, after the Sabarmati Express was torched on Feb 27, 2002, killing 59.