People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 40

October 12, 2008



Nanavati Commission’s Clean Chit To Modi Is Bogus

Arun Mehta

WHILE evaluating and understanding the intentions of Nanavati commission, the following observations come to mind. Narendra Modi, after being rebuked by his own leader Vajpayee (when he was the prime minister), for having failed in his political responsibility as the chief of the state, got extremely apprehensive of being held guilty of the carnage by his own party’s central leadership. Modi, to save himself, appointed this commission.

But he wanted an extremely loyal, pro- Modi individual to head it. So Nanavati came easy, handy and available as a quasi judicial face for him. All the secular forces (even including all NGOs) and the entire minority community declared total boycott of this commission. People in general were also were convinced of this boycott as Nanavati was publicly known to be pro Modi. Only exception to this boycott was one newly formed Jansangarsh Manch headed by a high court pleader Mukul Sinha, who participated and co- operated with Nanavati commission. Full six years have lapsed since then and cohorts of Modi had been gloriously proclaiming that this commission can and will perennially delay the decision. All in-between these six year long period, Supreme Court had the occasion of condemning the law and order situation of Modi regime, its police and its administration.

However all these fell on the deaf ears of Modi. Not only that, Modi himself has been admitting in his own public statements that the task of rehabilitation of riot- hit victims has remained pending even till recent present. It is quite astonishing to note that the present part–I report shamelessly certifies that even the rehabilitation work also has been complete. This is to say the least about the so called judicial neutrality of Nanavati commission!

Banerjee commission appointed by railways, has categorically stated, after having tried actually to see whether the fire was or could be set to the railway coach from out side, that it could not have been so. Now Nanavati version of the event says that there was stormy stone pelting from outside; if that would have been so, those sitting inside would have closed all the windows and doors. Nanavati commission also says the petrol pouring on the coach started after stone pelting. If that is so, in the case of the windows and doors closed due to stone pelting, how could petrol be poured inside the coach?! And how could, even supposedly leaked petrol have burnt it on such a large scale? Why has this report not mentioned the central government’s forensic laboratory report?

When the cases of those who have not been released on bail are being considered by Supreme Court and are under investigation, how can Nanavati bypass Supreme Court and deprive the chance for those still in jail as considered innocent till proven guilty.

Nanavati commission’s report has given a “clean chit” to Modi, his cabinet and the police. Narendra Modi is one of the accused and neither he nor any of his accused cabinet members have been questioned. So, how could Nanavati give a clean chit even when the riot–hit victims have also not been given any chance to depose by issuing public notices in major news papers, inviting all concerned to depose ?

Even Tehalka brought out the statement of a killer who proudly was claiming that he had ripped open the womb of a Muslim pregnant woman? Even a judge claiming that he had openly sided with Hindu criminals and had allowed them to escape, was quoted by Tehalka. Nanavati commission had not taken a notice of any of such developments. It is later said that the judge who claimed this in Tehalka got himself appointed next to Nanavati in the commission.

It is also not explained why this commission went on asking for more time, and extension for as many as 12 times. 58 passengers most of whom were ticketless and all of them non – reserved, are said to have been burnt, but reserved ones were saved? The reasons for this are not explained.

Modi lost no time in jumping out victorious as the report was very quickly submitted to him, even though he still remains to be, one accused! Can an accused be given a preference copy? If so, why the other accused have not been given a copy, even till today? Also why all those who are in detention have not been given any chance to submit their defence? Has Nanavati got any suomoto authoritative powers to declare anybody guilty or innocent, without such ones being given a chance of defence ! Are we under the authoritative, dictatorial or fascist rule in Gujarat - uncovered or not under Indian constitution?