The G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta judicial inquiry commission probing the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in 2002 told the Gujarat High Court on Thursday that its September 18, 2009 order rejecting the plea of the Jansangharsh Manch to summon Chief Minister Narendra Modi for cross-examination was “not a final order.”
A letter written by the commission secretary was submitted to the High Court by Advocate-General Kamal Trivedi. The court had not opened the sealed cover and ordered that it be kept in the records until further orders. But, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhyaya and Justice Akil Kureshi told the Manch's counsel that the commission had not taken a “final” decision on not summoning Mr. Modi. The next hearing on the Manch petition seeking a direction to the commission to summon the Chief Minister was posted for June 17.
The commission's letter was in response to the March 22 court directive seeking a clarification on its stand on the Manch plea for summoning Mr. Modi.
Manch advocate Mukul Sinha had filed the petition following the commission's September 2009 order in which it had ignored its plea to summon Mr. Modi but had asked only three of his personal secretaries to submit details of mobile phone calls during the 2002 communal riots.
Besides Mr Modi, the Manch, in its application to the commission on August 31, 2007, also demanded summoning of the then Minister of State for Home Gordhan Jhadaphia, the then Health Minister and presently Speaker Ashok Bhatt, and the then Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the affected areas R.J. Savani, among others.
The commission rejected the plea saying it did not find the demand for cross-examining Mr. Modi and others justified, following which the Manch filed the petition in the High Court. A single judge Bench had earlier rejected the Manch petition.