//Godhra panels on collision course?

Godhra panels on collision course?

AHMEDABAD: Has a war of words broken out between two commissions probing the Godhra carnage of February 27, 2002? So it seems, going by a confidential letter that Justice UC Banerjee commission has written to the Nanavati-Shah commission on Saturday.

The Banerjee commission, which is also probing the cause of the fire in S-6 coach from a technical perspective, has demanded back the copy of its interim report sent to the Nanavati-Shah commission earlier. This report had concluded that the fire was accidental, contrary to Modi government’s theory that a conspiracy was behind it.

This letter, the contents of which were not divulged during the hearing, reportedly contains a rider that the report when returned should have a certification stating no copies of it has been made!
Highly placed sources confirmed the letter was written to Nanavati-Shah commission after it summoned Banerjee’s investigation papers citing clause 4 (d) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act which allows a commission This was after Justice Banerjee inquiry was elevated to a commission in December. Snubbing the Modi government-appointed commission probing the Godhra carnage and the post-Godhra riots, the Banerjee commission secretary pointed out that the Nanavati-Shah commission had no jurisdiction over its papers.

"These papers were relevant for our own (Banerjee commission’s) purpose" and that the papers pertain to the events prior to the burning of the train and were irrelevant for the Nanavati-Shah commission.

Consequently, Justice GT Nanavati and Justice KG Shah passed orders on Saturday terming the reasons cited by the Banerjee commission "untenable" and gave it two months to produce the papers.

The Banerjee letter had also added that "if you still insist, you must give us two months to produce the papers". Obviously, this has left the Gujarat government and the VHP lawyers furious. The Banerjee papers had been requisitioned by the VHP through the Nanavati panel.