06, Sep 2019 | CJP Team
Former Gujarat Director General of Police RB Sreekumar has moved Gujarat High Court demanding that the second part of the Nanavati Commission report be tabled before the Gujarat State Assembly so that its findings can become public.
The Nanavati Commission was set up to look into the facts, circumstances and all the course of events of the incidents that led to setting on fire some coaches of the Sabarmati Express Train on February 27, 2002 near Godhra Railway Station and the subsequent incidents of violence in Gujarat in the aftermath of the Godhra incident.
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Part 1 dealt with the Sabarmati Train incident at Godhra and was submitted in September 2008. It may be read here. The second and final part of this report was submitted in November 2014, but never tabled in the Gujarat Assembly. Its findings therefore remain unavailable to the public.
In his petition Sreekumar says, “…the object of appointing a Commission is to conduct investigation on any issue that is of public importance and to perform certain responsibilities entrusted to the Commission under the Act. However, if its findings, conclusions and suggestions are not made public then the same would tantamount to waste of public money.”
Grounds for the PIL
The grounds of the petition as listed as follows:
- That the provisions of the Act make it mandatory to produce the report of the Commission before the Legislative Assembly.
- Huge public money is utilized for this Commission and therefore a citizen has legal right to peruse the report.
- The findings of the Commission’s report would unearth the hidden facts if any and its recommendations can be fruitfully implemented.
- The recommendations of the Commission can be incorporated by amending the ‘Gujarat Police Manual’ and improve the police force as well as the law and order of the state.
- Non production of the Commission’s report before the legislative assembly is violation of sec. 3(4) of the Act.
Explaining his motivation behind filing the PIL Sreekumar said, “Justice Nanavati and Mehta Commission which inquired into 2002 Gujarat riots had submitted its final report on 18th Nov 2014. Since the State Govt. did not place the report in the State Assembly within six months of the submission, I made a detailed representation to CM Gujarat on 18th Nov 2015. Since there was no response from State Govt., I submitted a PIL to the High Court of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, praying seeking directions to the State Govt. for tabling the Nanavati Commission final report on 30th August 2019.”
The entire PIL may be viewed here:
Pressure mounts, state throws in the towel
And now it appears that Sreekumar’s petition has hit its mark. The Gujarat state government has decided to table the report in the next session. Speaking about the development, Sreekuamr said, “Today (6th Sep 2019), the State Govt., through Kamal Trivedi, Advocate General, informed that the Govt. has decided to table part-2 of the report (final report) in the ensuing Budget Session in the Legislative Assembly.”
The state government responded to Sreekumar’s PIL saying, “While categorically denying all the averments and allegations of the Petitioner contained in the captioned writ petition, it is stated that Part-I of the Report of Justices Nanavati-Mehta Commission has already been tabled on 25.09.2009 in the Legislative Assembly and it has already been decided to table Part-II of the said Report in the ensuing Budget Session of the Legislative Assembly.