The Gujarat government on Monday granted yet another extension to the Justice Nanavati commission which is probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots.
“Today, the state government granted a two-month extension to the commission, valid up to August 31,” said secretary to the panel C G Patel. This is the 22nd extension granted to the commission. In December 2013, it had got a six-month extension, which was to expire on Monday.
The commission comprises Justices G T Nanavati and Akshay Mehta (both retired). In 2008 it submitted a part of its finding, which held that burning of S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station on February 27, 2002, which led to the riots, was ‘a planned conspiracy’.
The state government led by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi set up the commission on March 3, 2002, under the Commission of Inquiry Act, comprising Justice K G Shah. Initially, its terms of reference were to inquire into only the burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express.
In May 2002, the state government appointed retired Supreme Court judge G T Nanavati as its chairman. In June 2002, the panel was asked to probe the incidents of violence that took place after the Godhra incident too. In 2008, after the death of Justice K G Shah, retired High Court judge Akshay Mehta was appointed to the commission.
Recently, suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt had locked horns with the commission over the issue of granting him permission to examine classified documents related to riots, submitted by the state government.