The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Godhra notice to Kalam’s office

Ahmedabad, July 2: The Godhra probe commission has reopened Rashtrapati Bhavan’s refusal to hand over letters written by K.R. Narayanan as President to the then Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, on how to tackle the Gujarat riots.

The Nanavati Shah Commission has asked the President’s office to send over an advocate or some other representative by July 25 to explain the refusal.

Rashtrapati Bhavan had last month declined to give the letters to the commission, citing privilege.

Narayanan had told a magazine that he had written to Vajpayee to “rush the army to Gujarat to contain the communal riots and take effective steps”. However, the former President added, his advice went unheeded.

The issue has bounced back into the limelight at a time when the current President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, has suggested that official communications between the President and the Prime Minister should be kept out of the purview of the new right to information law. The information bill has been passed and accorded presidential assent, but it has not been notified yet.

After the President’s office refused to give the letters, the Godhra commission had declared it a “closed chapter’’.

Today’s change of heart came after Sinha, the advocate who spearheaded the plea for the letters, cited a Supreme Court judgment and argued that Rashtrapati Bhavan had “wrongly” interpreted the privilege law.

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