New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Gujarat government and the Nanavati Commission, that is in charge of probing the 2002 riots in the state, acting on a plea by an NGO seeking direction to the Commission that Chief Minister Narendra Modi be summoned to court for questioning.
A bench of justices DK Jain and AK Dave issued notices to the Commission and the state government, asking them to file their responses within four weeks.
The notice was issued after a plea by the Jan Sangarsh Manch was filed in court, asking that Modi be summoned to court. Advocates Collin Gonsalves and Shreeji Bhavsar, appearing for the NGO submitted that Modi should be summoned by the Commission as the role of the chief minister falls within the ambit of the probe panel's inquiry.
On February 1, the Gujarat High Court had dismissed a similar plea by the NGO.
The High Court said that the Nanavati Commission was only a "fact-finding" body with no power to enforce or implement its recommendations.
The court, while dismissing the petition had also declined to interfere with the Commission's proceedings, saying inquiry was yet to conclude and it could not be subjected to judicial scrutiny at this stage.
Nanavati Commission was formed in 2002 after post-Godhra train carnage riots. In 2004, the terms of reference of the Commission had been expanded to include in its purview an examination of the chief minster's role in the riots.
In September 2009, the Commission had rejected JSM's plea to summon of Modi and five others for cross-examination with regard to the communal violence in which over 1,000 people were killed. The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) had earlier questioned Modi on 2002 riots for over ten hours in 2010.
With additional information from PTI