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Nanavati panel adjourns hearing as Jadeja fails to appear

December 06, 2011 00:54 IST

The hearing of Nanavati Commission to decide on cross-examination of former minister I K Jadeja for his alleged role in 2002 communal riots was on Monday adjourned as he failed to appear before the panel.

Jadeja, who was scheduled to appear before the Justice (retired) G T Nanavati and Justice (retired) Akshay Mehta commission, did not turn up citing his engagement in Panchayat poll related work.

Jadeja was a minister in the Narendra Modi government during the 2002 riots. The commission observed that the former minister should have informed it earlier, instead of sending a fax to their office on the day of the hearing.

The hearing was to be held to decide on the applications moved by NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM), representing some of the riot victims, and that of Congress party seeking cross examination of Jadeja for his alleged role during the communal riots.

Gujarat government on Monday filed its objections before the probe panel against cross examination of Jadeja.

The JSM and the Congress had moved separate applications seeking cross examination of Jadeja after he was examined in-camera by the Nanavati commission on November 8.

However, the state government in its reply to the JSM's petition today contended before the commission that there was no need to cross-examine Jadeja by a third party, since it has sufficient powers to do the same as per the provisions of Section 4 and Section 5 of the Commission Act.

Jadeja was the second minister of the then Narendra Modi-led BJP government who was questioned as a witness by Nanavati Commission. The panel had last year examined the then minister of state for Home Gordhan Zadafia regarding the same.

Zadafia has parted ways with the BJP and has floated his own outfit, Mahagujarat Janta Party (MJP).

After his questioning as the witness by commission on November 8, Jadeja had said that he was called by the riot panel to question him with regard to Godhra incident and the riots that took place after that.

When asked if he was questioned about presence of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in the meeting called by Narendra Modi on February 27, 2002, Jadeja had declined to comment.

Jadeja, spokesperson of the state BJP, was present in the said meeting, where, according to Bhatt, Modi had instructed officers to allow Hindus "to vent out their anger" during the clashes and wanted Muslims to be "taught a lesson".

He was also present in the state control room during the riots, along with late state assembly speaker Ashok Bhatt who was health minister in 2002.

Jadeja is presently posted as executive chairman of the Swarnim Gujarat Committee and enjoys status of a cabinet rank minister.

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