High court reserves order on Jamiat plea

July 9th, 2011 - 12:36 am ICT by IANS  

Gandhinagar, July 8 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court Friday reserved its order on Jamiat- e-ulema-e-Hind’s (JUH) application challenging Nanavati-Mehta judicial inquiry commission’s order which rejected its plea of striking off senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt’s deposition from the record.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi also decided to keep Jan Sangharsh Manch’s (JSM) petition for questioning former Gujarat home minister Gordhan Zadafia to dispose with the same.

JUH had contended that the commission has to decide Bhatt’s status while claiming that Bhatt is not a witness.

It was argued that Bhatt was summoned by the panel to furnish information about his claim of having attended the meetings held at the chief minister’s residence on Feb 27, 2002.

JUH’s lawyer Krishnakant Vakharia had argued that no oath was administered to Bhatt for purpose of his examination as contemplated under section 4(a) of the Commission of Inquires Act. Further that under provisions of section 5(2) of the said Act, the commission has powers to ask any person to furnish information on such points or matters as it may think useful or relevant for the inquiry.

During the hearing Friday, the court asked JUH’s lawyer Krishnakant Vakharia as to why they were so eager to strike off Bhatt’s deposition.

JSM had earlier filed a petition in the high court for directions to the commission to summon the chief minister, three of his staff members in CMO, Gordhan Zadafia and others for cross examination.

JSM’s lawyer Mukul Sinha maintained that if the court permits the government to question Bhatt then JSM should also be allowed to question Zadafia, alleging that the probe panel has double standards. He submitted that on one hand the commission allowed questions to be asked to Bhatt and on the other refused JSM to examine Zadafia.

While making clear the commission’s stand on Bhatt’s questioning, advocate general Kamal Trivedi submitted that the commission considers Bhatt as an informer and only allowed examining of him by others to ensure the truth comes out.

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