The petition for the summons was filed by an NGO fighting for the riot victims. The order was passed by a division bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice Sonia Gokani that had last week reserved its order on a petition by the NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) representing some of the riot victims.
The petitioner, JSM had approached court seeking summons to Modi before the commission that was probing the 2002 Gujarat riots. The commission was led by Justice G T Nanavati and Justice Akshay Mehta. The advocate arguing for the petitioner, Mukul Sinha had submitted before court that the role of the Chief Minister falls within the ambit of the probe panel's inquiry.
The state government had given its go ahead to examine the conduct of CM Modi under the new terms of reference announced in 2005 by the probe panel. Sinha had stated that there were questions that only Modi could answer on the riots.
The state government had quashed the appeal stating that it was not maintainable under law since the Commission's Act does not allow a third party to demand for the questioning of a person. Advocate General Kamal Trivedi said it was up to the Commission to decide whom should it call for questioning. He left the onus on the Commission to decide on whether to summon Modi or not since it is governed by its own rules and procedures as per the Commission's Act.
The Supreme Court appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had earlier questioned Modi over the riots for over 10 hours in 2010.