Apex court refuses to stop Nanavati panel report circulation

September 26th, 2008 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday refused to accede to a plea to stop the circulation of the Justice Nanavati Commission report, which said that the burning of the Sabarmati Express in 2002 at Godhra was pre-planned.A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam, however, issued notice to the Gujarat government on a lawsuit for publication and circulation of the report.

The lawsuit by civil rights group, Citizen for Justice and Peace, also wanted the court’s direction to stop the Gujarat government from acting on the recommendation of the report.

The bench, however, after issuing notice to the Gujarat government, slated the plea for detailed hearing Oct 13.

In the first part of report tabled in the state assembly Thursday, the Nanavati Commission said the fire on two coaches of the Sabarmati Express on Feb 27, 2002, at the Godhra railway station in Gujarat, which killed 59 kar sevaks returning from Ayodhya, was the result of a pre-planned conspiracy involving “some individuals” and not an accident.

The report accuses three people - Jabir Behra, Rajak Kurkur and Salim Panwala - of arranging 140 litres of petrol from a petrol pump and ferrying it to the railway station to set fire to the train.

Appearing for the civil rights group, Delhi High Court’s former judge Rajinder Sachar pleaded to the apex court bench that the state government should be stopped from taking any action on the report just as the Gujarat High Court had stayed the implementation of the U.C. Banerjee Committee report.

He said that any action taken by the Gujarat government on the recommendation of the Nanavati Commission report would again vitiate the communal atmosphere in the state as it seeks prosecution of those allegedly involved in hatching the conspiracy.

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