Scrap Nanavati panel, it’s pointless: Former judges
Top jurists on Thursday demanded disbanding of the Gujarat government appointed probe panel, which is investigating the 2002 anti-Muslim riots, and is likely to submit its final report by March 31. Nagendar Sharma reports.delhi Updated: Feb 24, 2012 01:48 IST
Top jurists on Thursday demanded disbanding of the Gujarat government appointed probe panel, which is investigating the 2002 anti-Muslim riots, and is likely to submit its final report by March 31.
Former Chief Justice of India JS Verma and former Supreme Court judge justice PB Sawant — both of who have submitted independent reports on the riots — have slammed the Nanavati Shah commission. Almost Rs 6.5 crore of government money has been spent on the panel, which has been granted 17 extensions in the last 10 years. Justice Verma, who was heading the National Human Rights Commission during the riots, questioned the need of a final report by the Nanavati panel.
“In the first report submitted in September 2008, which was supposed to be only about the Godhra train burning incident, this commission gave a clean chit to the state government on the riots that followed,” justice Verma said.
The Nanavati commission, in its report submitted to the Gujarat government had concluded :”There is absolutely no evidence to show that either the chief minister and/or any other minister(s) had played any role in Godhra or there was any lapse on their part in providing relief to the victims of communal riots that followed.”
Justice GT Nanavati had dismissed the criticism of his report saying :”There is no question of any clean chit, since the first report was strictly confined to the Godhra incident.”
Justice Verma dismissed his clarification and pointed out: “The relevant finding of the commission clearly refers to the post-Godhra riots. The clarification given holds no water.”
Within a year of the Nanavati commission being set-up in March 2002, justice Verma had raised doubts over the panel.
In a letter to then PM Atal Behari Vajpayee, Justice Verma wrote :”I am saddened to observe that the Justice Nanavati commission has failed to allay the fears in minds of riots victims.”