CNN-IBN, Posted Thursday , March 09, 2006 at 15:02
New Delhi: Railway Minister Lalu Prasad on Thursday said the government has filed an appeal against the Gujarat High Court order directing it not to give publicity and act upon the report of the U C Banerjee Committee which went into the Godhra train tragedy.
An appeal has been filed in the Gujarat High Court against the order, he said in a statement in Rajya Sabha.
On March 7, the High Court had directed the government not to give any publicity or to further act upon the report till the final hearing to begin from April 3, Lalu said.
He said the High Court had turned down the request of the government for laying the report on the table of the House.
The High Court, on a special civil application filed by one Nilkanth Tulsidas Bhatia on October 26 last year, had ordered that if the high-level Committee submits any report it would not be implemented by the Ministry without the permission of the Court, he said.
Lalu said that the request for tabling of the final report, submitted on March 3, was sought following a demand from members in this regard.
The Minister said the interim report of the Committee, submitted on January 17 last year, had already been tabled in both Houses of Parliament.
The report says the fire on the Sabarmati Express in February 2002 was accidental and not a conspiracy.
59 karsewaks died in the fire which sparked off communal riots in Gujarat. The Gujarat High Court has stayed the tabling of the Banerjee report in parliament.
Lalu appointed the Justice Banerjee Commission in September 2004 to ascertain the cause of the fire.
The BJP has demanded legal action against Lalu Prasad, charging that the Banerjee Commission was unconstitutionally formed and politically biased.
(With PTI inputs)