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Court queries NGO on non-summoning of Modi by riots panel

Posted by on February 23, 2011 0 Comment

Ahmedabad, Feb 23 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court Tuesday questioned an NGO on the issue of non-summoning of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and others by the Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission probing the 2002 Godhra train carnage and the communal riots thereafter.

The high court query came a day after a special fast track court in Ahmedabad convicted 31 people and acquitted 63 in the Godhra train carnage case.

The division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi posed various queries to Jan Sangharsh Manch’s (JSM) counsel Mukul Sinha.

The JSM has been urging the probe panel to summon Modi and others in connection with the 2002 train carnage and the communal riots thereafter.

The court wanted to know whether the high court had the jurisdiction to issue direction to a commission of inquiry.

It also sought to know whether the witnesses before the commission had a right to cross-examine people appearing before the panel and if so then under which provision of law.

Sinha submitted that the high court’s intervention was necessary and the court while exercising the extra ordinary jurisdiction had powers to direct the commission to summon Modi.

He submitted that the commission had to inquire the adequacy or inadequacy of the administrative measures taken during the incidents of carnage and riots, role and conduct of the chief minister and others named in their application.

He said that only Modi, being in the chief minister at that time, could answer certain questions.

The JSM approached the division bench after its plea was turned down by a single judge bench.

In April, 2007, the NGO moved an application before the probe panel urging it to summon Modi and others for questioning, which was later rejected stating the application was premature and lacked merit.

The court has now posted the matter for March 14.

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