Nanavati: SC grants Guj 3 weeks to file counter to petition

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New Delhi, Oct 13 (UNI) The Supreme Court today granted three weeks time to the Gujarat government to file its counter to a petition seeking directions from the apex court to the State government not to act on the Nanavati Commission report on Godhra train burning incident.

Justice Nanavati, a retired Supreme Court judge, in his interim report submitted to the state government, had given a finding that the Godhra train burning incident was a result of a pre-planned conspiracy in which 140 litres petrol was used to set the bogi S6 on fire, resulting in the death of 59 car sewaks, who were burnt alive.

Senior counsel Rajiv Sachchar, appearing for the petitioner, pleaded for an interim stay against the implementation of the report which according to him was not fair.

The report had also given a clean chit to state Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his cabinet colleagues and police officers of the state for their alleged involvement in the 2002 Gujarat communal riots, which had rocked the state in the aftermath of the Godhra Train burning incident.

Senior counsel Soli Sorabjee, appearing for the state government, however, contended before the court there were no findings or recommendations in the preliminary report of Justice Nanavati committee and it was also prepared to make a statement before the court that the report shall not be used in any pending trial before the court.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam refused to pass any interim order telling the petitioner that the Nanavati report has not been filed before this court and the judges do not know the contents of the report.

Mr Sachchar, however, said there were apprehensions that the findings of the report might be used to implicate innocent persons as conspirators in Godhra Train burning incident.

NHRC has already said the Nanavati Report was partial.

Another committee headed by Justice U C Banerjee, appointed by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad, was also found to be partial, when it described the train burning incident as accident.

UNI SC SV RP DS1415

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