Cross-examining of Modi needed to arrive at truth: Manch

September 19, 2009 11:34 pm | Updated 11:34 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during a interview to The Hindu. File Photo: M. Vedhan

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi during a interview to The Hindu. File Photo: M. Vedhan

Mukul Sinha, counsel for the Jan Sangharsh Manch, on Saturday said the arguments of the G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta judicial commission, probing the Godhra train carnage and subquent Gujarat communal riots in 2002, of lack of evidence for summoning Chief Minister Modi and others did not hold ground. For, the stage had not yet reached for submitting evidence, but at least cross-examining them was necessary to “arrive at the truth.”

Counsel said the application for summoning them was made only after the State government in July 2004 expanded the terms of reference of the commission to include the offices of Chief Minister, his Council of Ministers and senior bureaucrats and police officers to inquire into their “roles” in the riots.

If the collective opinion of the State government was that the role and conduct of these persons, including the Chief Minister, required to be looked into by a judicial inquiry commission, “there is no justification for the commission to refuse to do so,” Dr. Sinha said.

Dealing with the points raised by the Manch, alleging that prima facie Mr. Modi was in the “knowledge” of the riots, the commission said none of the arguments justified his summoning “at this stage.” These fell short of proving any direct or indirect involvement of the Chief Minister or dereliction of duty on his part or that of the State police and administration, of which he was the head.

CDs of phone numbers

The commission, however, has not rejected the authenticity of the two compact discs (CDs) containing the list of mobile phone numbers as demanded by the State government pleader. The order said though the government pleader wanted the data contained in the CDs to be “ignored completely” questioning their genuineness and authenticity, the commission had “not accepted the suggestion in toto” and though it did not “justify issuing summons to the persons,” the data “if found not manipulated, is likely to help this commission in finding out the truth about involvement of these persons in the incidents of violence against the minority community,” it said.

Pointing out that the State government had already placed before the commission relevant information through the affidavits of its officers, the commission said it was of the view that “only those persons against whom there is some material to show their involvement in the post-Godhra incidents should be summoned and that too at an appropriate stage.”

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.