Decision not to summon Modi not final: Nanavati
The spectre of the 2002 Gujarat riots today came back to haunt Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi again as the Nanavati Commission in a a reply to Gujarat High Court's probe into the 2002 riot cases, said that the panel's September decision not to summon Modi was not final.Updated: Apr 01, 2010, 23:27 IST
The Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 riot cases on Thursday kept the option of questioning Chief Minister Narendra Modi open when it told the Gujarat High Court that its decision not to summon him was "not final".
The Commission was clarifying its position while responding to a poser by the High Court on March 22 that it communicate by today whether its decision not to summon the 59-year-old BJP leader for questioning was tentative or final.
State Advocate General Kamal Trivedi produced a letter written by secretary of Nanavati Commission in this regard in the court, which was taken on record.
Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi in its order said, "The Nanavati Commission's letter says that its order of September 18, 2009 is not final."
"In view of the letter submitted by the Nanavati Commission the matter has been adjourned till June 17", the court said.
Modi has already subjected himself to a 9-hour questioning by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) on March 27 on a complaint in connection with the Gulburg society riot case.
The High Court on March 22 had asked the government pleader to seek the clarification while hearing an appeal by Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM), an NGO representing some of the victims of the post-Godhra riots.
JSM advocate Mukul Sinha said the Commission informed the court that they have not yet taken a final decision over calling Modi for questioning. Sinha did not believe that the Commission would submit its final report before June 17. "But it was observed by the High Court that in such case (submission of final report) it can always have power to pass an order," he added.
The Commission in September last year had disposed of JSM's plea for summoning of Modi and three others saying they did not find justification in cross-examining them at that point of time for the purpose stated by the NGO.
It had stated in the order that allegations made in JSM's application were vague and based upon wrong or unwarranted assumptions.
JSM had sought quashing of the Commission's order in the Gujarat High Court and prayed that Modi and three others--the then home minister Gordhan Zadafia, health minister Ashok Bhat and DCP (Zone 5) R J Savani, be called for cross-examination in connection with the riots.
A single bench of Justice K S Jhaveri dismissed its petition in November last year saying that the Commission has not completed its inquiry and still has power to summon Modi under Section 8(b) of Commissions of Inquiry Act.
JSM then filed an appeal before a division bench to seek quashing of the Commission's order and issuance of summons to Modi and three others for cross-examination with regard to the riots.
The Commission had last month informed the High Court about the status of its inquiry.