Friday, May 25, 2012

Bhatt seeks two-judge probe panel on Modi's post-Godhra role


Suspended Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt has requested
President Pratibha Patil to direct the Central Government to set up a
two-member Inquiry Commission to probe the role and conduct of Gujarat
Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other Ministers and the adequacy of
the administrative measures taken to deal with the aftermath of the
Godhra train carnage in the State in 2002.
In a letter to Ms. Patil, Mr. Bhatt has said the Commission should be
set up under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, and be headed by a
retired judge of the Supreme Court.
He said the Commission should also inquire into the adequacy of the
steps and measures taken by the State administration from June 1,
2002, till date for the relief, rehabilitation and delivery of justice
to the victims of the riots.
Without mentioning his dissatisfaction with the manner in which the
G.T. Nanavati-Akshay Mehta Judicial Inquiry Commission was handling
the probe into the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra riots in
the State, Mr. Bhatt said appointment of an Inquiry Commission was
necessary as the existing panel was not dealing with the “adequacy of
the administrative measures” to find out whether the State had
performed its duty properly to protect the fundamental rights of the
Mr. Bhatt claimed that while issuing the notification on July 20,
2004, expanding the scope of the Nanavati-Mehta Commission set up in
March 2002, the State Government had deliberately avoided including
the Chief Minister's role in relation to the adequacy of the
administrative measures taken in dealing with the riots.
The amended notification did include the role and conduct of the Chief
Minister and other Ministers, senior bureaucrats and police officers
and some political, religious and voluntary organisations, but the
clause was deliberately inserted after the para in the original
notification in which the terms and reference of the Nanavati
Commission included inquiring into the “adequacy of the administrative
Mr. Bhatt said besides the fact that the State Government was
thwarting all efforts of the Inquiry Commission to even summon the
Chief Minister for cross-examination, the National Human Rights
Commission in its report and the Gujarat High Court in connection with
a petition seeking its direction to the Commission to summon Mr. Modi,
had made adverse remarks about the adequacy of the administrative
measures taken to protect the rights of the minorities.
Mr. Bhatt said even after the deficient terms of reference, the State
Government should have discharged its Constitutional obligation
diligently and honestly assisting the Inquiry Commission in unearthing
the truth, but instead of conducting itself as a neutral and
dispassionate Constitutional entity, it had “chosen to act in a
partisan manner by identifying with and espousing the cause of the
State administration.