Gujarat to table second part of Nanavati report
The state government on Friday told the Gujarat high court that it will table part two of the justice Nanavati-Mehta Commission report on the 2002 Gujarat riots before the Legislative Assembly in the budget session.
The statement came in response to a public interest litigation filed by former IPS officer RB Sreekumar, seeking a direction to the state government to make the report public.
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi told a division bench of justices SR Brahmbhatt and
AP Thaker that the government had decided to table part two of the report “in the ensuing budget session of the Legislative Assembly”. “While categorically denying all the allegations.... in the petition, it is stated that part-I of the report of Justice Nanavati-Mehta Commission has already been tabled on 25.09.2009 in the Assembly,” it said.
The commission had submitted its final report (containing part two) on November 18, 2014, to then chief minister Anandiben Patel. It has been withheld since.
Last month, Sreekumar moved the high court “against inaction on the part of the state of Gujarat, especially the chief secretary” in not tabling the full report before the assembly. He cited section 3 (4) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, saying the law requires that such reports have to be published within six months. Then CM Narendra Modi on February 28, 2002 announced a one-man commission to inquire into the cause of the Godhra train burning incident that had killed 59 passengers. The train burning incident led to widespread riots in Gujarat. The government later reconstituted the commission, making it two-member, with Justice GT Nanavati, former SC judge, as its chairman and Justice KG Shah, a former HC judge.
After Shah passed away, Justice A K Mehta, also a former high court judge, took his place.
The government also expanded the terms of reference of the commission, bringing under its purview the role and conduct of the chief minister, ministers and police officers during the riots.