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Godhra Inquiry: Bhatt petitions HC to make Modi appear before Nanavati

Ahmedabad, Sep 27 (PTI): Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt on Friday moved the Gujarat High Court with a prayer to direct the Justice G T Nanavati Commission probing the riots cases to summon Chief Minister Narendra Modi before it.

In a public-interest litigation filed along with People's Union of Civil Liberties, one of the oldest human rights organisation in India, Bhatt has also demanded that the probe panel be directed to submit its final report not to the chief minister but to the governor.

The hearing on the PIL began on Friday before a division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala.

Advocate Yusuf Muchhala who made submissions on behalf of the petitioners on Friday, will continue his submission on the next date of hearing, scheduled for October 5.

The Nanavati Commission was formed by the state government following the Godhra riots in February 2002. The state government, in 2004, had expanded the terms of reference of the probe panel which included the role and conduct of the then Chief Minister and other ministers.

Citing this expanded terms of reference, petitioners have claimed that, “....commission has to enquire into the role and function of the Chief Minister in view of the terms of reference constituting the Commission.”

”The role of the Chief Minister, both personal and constitutional, could only be properly and with any sort of veracity come on the record of the Commission and hence his presence is a must,” petition reads.