Delay in tabling report questioned

NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. Parliament saw brief adjournments in the pre-lunch session today, with the Opposition protesting against the delay in the tabling of the Nanavati Commission report on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha after question hour, the Bharatiya Janata Party's V.K. Malhotra questioned the delay in tabling the report. Alleging that several Congress leaders were involved in the riots, he charged the Government with attempting to suppress the report. Also, he said, the Government was adopting double standards as it had tabled the Banerjee Committee report on the Godhra train burning incident.

Even as the Opposition traded charges with the ruling benches — particularly members of the Rashtriya Janata Dal — the Leader of the House, Pranab Mukherjee, clarified that the Nanavati Commission had been set up under the Commission of Enquiry Act which mandated that the Government first consider the report and then table it along with the Action Taken Report (ATR). "The Nanavati Commission report is being considered by the Government and it will be tabled along with the ATR," he said.

"A departmental probe"

When the Opposition pointed out that the Banerjee Committee report had been tabled without an ATR, Mr. Mukherjee — after a quick discussion with the Home Minister, Shivraj Patil — said the two could not be equated. The Banerjee Committee, he said, was a departmental enquiry. Dissatisfied, the Opposition members trooped into the well of the House, leading to an adjournment for 10 minutes.

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