Wednesday, June 27, 2012

HC hearing on Nanavati panel term adjourned

The Gujarat High Court on Monday took on record a document about the
amount of fees paid by the State Government to the son of Justice GT
Nanavati who chairs the commission probing the riots following the
killing 58 kar sewaks in the Sabarmati Express fire at Godhra on
February 27, 2002.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that the two-judge
panel was dealying submission of its final report on the riots as part
of a quid pro quo arrangement Justice Nanavati had with the Gujarat
Government which has apppinted his son as Additional Government
Pleader (AGP) on fees higher than usual.
The matter has been adjourned till June 28 by when rejoinders are to be filed.
A division bench of the High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice
Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala had earlier asked the
State Government to furnish the details of fees paid to the son of
Justice Nanavati even as the petitioner sought to get them through the
RTI route or by scrutinising the Income Tax (I-T) Returns of the AGP.
As the documents submitted in court revealed that the income of
Nanavati junior has risen from around `60,000 in 2006 to `6 lakh in
2010 and finally to `15.55 lakh in 2011-12, Government Pleader PK Jani
explained that it was mainly due to the AGP being given many bail
matters to be handled.
The original PIL, filed last year, had questioned the legitimacy of
granting repeated extensions to the two-judge panel at the expense of
tax payers' money. But, an amendment to the PIL later also alleged
that there is a nexus between the commission Chairman Justice GT
Nanavati and the State Government as his two sons have been appointed
as Public Prosecutors.