Nanavati Commission only fact-finding body:Guj HC

Ahmedabad: The Nanavati Commission, probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots, was only a "fact-finding" body with no power to enforce or implement its recommendations, the Gujarat High Court said today. This observation was made by a Division Bench of justices Akil Kureshi and Sonia Gokani, while rejecting an NGO`s petition seeking direction to the two-member probe panel to summon Chief Minister Narendra Modi for questioning regarding the riots triggered by Godhra train carnage.

The court, while dismissing the petition of Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM), also declined to interfere with the Commission`s proceedings, saying inquiry was yet to conclude and it cannot be subjected to judicial scrutiny at this stage. It noted the state government-appointed Commission had wide discretionary powers to regulate its own procedures.

JSM, representing some riot victims, had moved the HC in 2010 seeking quashing of the judicial panel`s order of not summoning Modi. It had sought direction to issue summons to the chief minister and five others for cross-examination with regard to the communal violence in which over 1,000 people were killed. "The Commission is only a fact-finding body and it has to collect evidence and make recommendations. It has no power to enforce or implement such recommendations," the court said.

"At this stage, even before completion of proceedings of the Commission, we do not find that its tentative conclusions are open to judicial scrutiny… we are not inclined to interfere, at least at this stage," the judges noted.